WASHINGTON — In the face of a perceived spike of attacks on female joggers in recent weeks, the Pentagon has affirmed its commitment to women’s safety by prohibiting female service-members from jogging, sources confirmed today.
“We are committed to the safety of all of our service members, but especially those that may make themselves targets for sexual assaults,” said Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col. David Petrides. “We want to ensure that these service members are not attracting unwanted attention via their choice of clothing, perspiration, or movements that could be characterized by depraved maniacs as ‘sexual’ in nature.”
Petrides also acknowledged the difficulty of the ban, telling reporters that other initiatives are being considered by senior leaders to help women exercise less provocatively in safer environments.
“Nothing is off the table when it comes to the health and welfare of our female service members," said Petrides. “From a buddy system, pairing women with big, strong men to protect them from would-be attackers, to instituting vibrating-belt machine PT, we want to make sure we send a strong message that violence against women will not be tolerated."
The most promising solution, according to Petrides, is to move-up the initiative already underway to make women’s PT uniforms less flattering, which is set to launch in late 2020.
Still, the move to ban jogging by female service members has been met with stiff opposition. Frank Saldana, the Morale, Welfare, and Recreation (MWR) director at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, is one of the people directly impacted.
“Now that women aren’t allowed to run, the base gyms are packed with female soldiers exercising,” said Saldana. “We never planned on any soldiers using the gyms, let alone this many female soldiers.”
According to Saldana, the influx of female soldiers has caused other unforeseen issues like weights being properly racked, equipment sanitized, and scented candles in the unisex restrooms.
“It is a literal nightmare,” said Saldana.
Officials are hopeful, however, that a permanent solution can be instituted that will eliminate attacks on female joggers.
“As long as it is an easy one,” added Patrides, “that doesn’t require a lot of work.”
Meanwhile, senior Pentagon leaders are also looking at the benefits of eliminating women jogging to address problems like low retention, weight control, and government travel card fraud.
Intrepid reporters Blondes Over Baghdad and AndieDiGianni contributed to this report.