WASHINGTON – A Pentagon memorandum is warning all uniformed service-members to avoid pregnancy at least during the next year, or possibly decade, to be safe. Defense analysts are calling the timing of the warning "suspicious," as it follows closely on the Pentagon's expansion of maternity-leave to twelve weeks. The memo was obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request.
“You really can’t be too careful with these things,” said Chief Surgeon of the Army Gen. Dale Hannigan. “These mothers should continue showing up to work every day, and they definitely should not be taking leave until the threat is completely removed world-wide.”
Chief Spokesman for the Army Col. Richard Scott is concerned with the potential TRICARE costs associated with treating Zika victims. “The Army is really not interested in producing more babies with lifelong medical conditions,” he said in a press briefing. “We already went down that rabbit-hole with overseas burn-pits.”
“This ain’t going to make a difference,” said Spc. Crystal Schwartz. “I ain’t never seen a baby coming. I’m not sure how they expect us to just ‘not get pregnant.’”
“And birth control before marriage is against my religious beliefs,” Schwartz added. “DoD can’t stop that.”
Many military mothers have echoed Schwart’s arguments that the policy is unfair towards women, but agree that it’s no worse than being forced “to wear that clown-tent maternity uniform,” as one soldier put it.
Meanwhile, conspiracy theorists are questioning whether DoD designed and released Zika intentionally.
“It’s not that far of a stretch to believe that the Army would release the Zika virus to save money and scare women from taking leave,” conspiracy blogger Gerald Figgins wrote. “The Army is usually more incompetent than the TSA, but when their dollars are on the line they can be ruthless.”
The Army has been involved in bio-scares before, including "accidentally" shipping live anthrax samples to dozens of labs worldwide last year.
Male soldiers say the warning seems to be having an effect.
Pvt. James Lopez, a supply specialist stationed at Fort Sam Houston, recently complained on Facebook, “I didn’t get any of the sex, bros.The honeys ain’t biting cause Zika's got ‘em scared.” Some of his commenters weren't sure, suggesting that maybe Lopez's looks and reputation played a role.
“Nope. It was Zika,” he said.