Military Culture

A strip tease: Army tells recruiters to stay away from erotic dance clubs

The once sacred bond between service member and strip club is being put to the test following a disheartening memo issued by Army Recruiting Command prohibiting visits by the service’s recruiting force to those beloved, mythical palaces of neon glow, cheap perfume and crumpled up dollar bills.

The Nov. 20 letter, distributed to Army recruiters and shared to the Twitter masses by U.S. Army WTF! Moments, declared all recruiting personnel on temporary duty to be henceforth “barred from frequenting Erotic Dance Establishments.”

(The military’s insistence on randomized capitalization remains commendable.)

Such establishments, according to the memo, are defined as venues featuring "live performances by topless and/or bottomless dancers or entertainers, go-go dancers, strippers or similar entertainers, where such performances are characterized by an emphasis on sexual activities or anatomical areas.”

Why this decision to ban anatomy, an invaluable branch of the biological sciences, from the Army curriculum pertains to recruiters alone raises the question of what standards the rest of the service should adhere to.

Recruiters on temporary duty are expected to “focus on the mission” and “live the Army values at all times, both in and out of uniform," the memo says, to best safeguard their credible visibility.

“Recruiters are the most public facing element of the U.S. Army, and are the personnel through which the American public will draw lasting impressions about the character of soldiers,” the letter said.

But as Benjamin Franklin once said in an entirely unrelated context, “Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

Poor recruiters. Imagine having to inform Candy and Cinnamon that nary a grain of sugar will be poured on anyone this holiday season, or breaking the sour news to Mike that his magic is no longer welcome.

While the Army’s decision may certainly deter a select few from venturing into the newly-categorized badlands, the military’s persistent affinity for sanctioned nudity remains well documented.

A 2015 Inspector General report found that between July 2013 and June 2014, military personnel racked up over $1 million worth of charges at casinos and adult entertainment establishments.

Nothing out of the ordinary, one might say at first glance, until realizing these select charges piled up using government-issued credit cards intended for Department of Defense-related travel expenditures.

Didn’t see that in the fiscal year 2019 budget anywhere.

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