Those who serve in the military are known to be brave, honest and trustworthy – arguably more so than many other individuals who do not opt for this path. However, the consumption of alcohol can make people act in ways that are completely out of character, and can lead the most honorable individual to commit dishonorable acts – whether this individual is an every day person, or a soldier serving in the military. The armed forces learn to treat their clan as a brother and sisterhood, looking after one another and making sacrifices – sometimes as serious as putting their own life in danger – for another soldier. But sexual assault has long been an issue in the military, just as it has been throughout the rest of the country and the world. Often these cases of assault can be attributed to or connected to alcohol abuse.
It can be disheartening for a soldier to realize that they are not safe around their own people after they have had a few drinks. The situation can be even more devastating for women, who join the military despite the unspoken social limitations against them. When soldiers are on duty, it is all business but off duty personnel will often engage in excessive drinking at social events or bars, and come back to the barracks as a different person. The leadership personnel in the military organizations must take seriously the issues of alcohol abuse and sexual assault, particularly when they are binded together so predictably. Issues of seniority along with foolish social decisions can become a major problem.
Soldiers in the military must not take their membership in such an honorable organization for granted. It’s important to exercise caution in social drinking situations just as in normal life – monitor drinking, stay close to friends and check in with each other as the night goes on.
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