03 May 2007

Air Force SSgt in Playboy

I suppose I am a little behind the times in posting this, but as they always say, it is better late than never. I really just wanted an opportunity to voice my opinion on the subject. I feel that a lot of people have thought her punishment was unjust and unnecessary.

For those of you that are even farther behind the times than I am, I am blogging about an Air Force Staff Sergeant that chose to pose for Playboy while she was still serving on Active Duty. She was relieved of her Training Instructor (T.I.) duty and reduced in rank to Senior Airman (SrA).

Michelle Manhart believe that she has done nothing wrong and is only enjoying the liberties and freedoms that she helps protect. That sounds well and good, but there are some things that she is not taking into consideration. When you sign up for the Armed Forces, you are essentially giving up some of your own rights to protect those very rights of others. You are held to a creed and as for the Air Force, a set of core values.

The core values of Integrity First, Service Before Self, and Excellence in All We Do, are not just words that are repeated to sound like a great tag line. They are values to be upheld and honored. When Michelle took it upon herself to pose for Playboy, she relinquished her authority above others as she did not uphold the image of a military member. Possibly, if she hadn't posed in uniform (and it not been publicized), I could see a far lesser punishment.

Playboy knew what it was doing. They knew that there would be a huge controversy over a Air Force female posing in the magazine. They may have even pushed her into doing it by giving her false promises. They knew that with the controversy that the sales of their magazine would shoot through the roof...and they did.

My personal thoughts on the matter are that she should have known the consequences of her actions (probably did). As such, if she valued her career in the Air Force, she should have refused the offer from Playboy to pose. After serving 13 years in the military, she would have been well aware of the outcome. She has been in long enough to remember when another military member posed for Playboy. It was a lieutenant in the Navy who was forced from her commission after posing for the nude magazine. I wish I could remember her name. I tried a quick google, but could not find it.

To close this up, I believe that Michelle Manhart knew what she was doing and that it could potentially end her career in the Air Force. I think she gambled with her career and lost, something that I would be so quick to try. Hopefully she doesn't regret what she has done, because this recognition will not last long, and she'll be wondering why she threw away her career for a bit of cash.

Nude Pictures (NSFW)

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