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The Air Force Times reports :

Commanders and supervisors in all corners of the Air Force will conduct a widespread sweep of all work spaces and public areas starting today, looking for pictures, calendars and other materials that objectify women.

The order covers all active, reserve and Air National Guard units and must be completed by Dec. 17.

Pictures of scantily clad women in calendars, posters or in briefing slides have no place in a professional workplace, said Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh, who ordered the service-wide health and welfare inspection.

The decision was made as part of the Air Force’s efforts to combat sexual assault, of which there were six hundred reports made in 2011. General Mark Welsh , USAF Chief of Staff since August 2012, explains the inspection: “After talking to a number of our female officers and NCOs, I believe that there is a potential that this is a problem in more than those isolated areas . . . Quite frankly, if we have 20 percent of our people who don’t feel that they are fully respected and valued for all the incredible talents and the dedication they bring to the job, then that’s just not the Air Force we want to be.”

Images of beautiful, provocatively dressed women have long been used as “morale boosters” in the military, perhaps most memorably during the WWII era. While I understand the decision (as a female Marine I know said: “This is a matter of protecting the women who serve from sexual violence and misconduct, and protecting the professional dignity of the men who serve,”), I’ve always been particularly fond of this one:

Pacific Theater, 1944

The Selvedge Yard explains: “Southwest Pacific, January 22nd, 1944 — Yes, Sir! Here’s one order Marines at a southwest Pacific base can’t say they didn’t read. To put her message across too, the life-sized pinup girl is seductively draped in a sleeping net — the kind she asks Marines to keep mended so a malaria bearing Mosquito won’t drop in.”

Via James Poulos .

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