(Warning: The following report contains details of a sexually graphic nature that may offend some readers.)
It’s a case of soldiers gone wild: An eyewitness tells WND a U.S. Army installation in Hawaii held a Valentine’s Day official “training” event in which male and female soldiers were offered prizes in a race to put condoms on sex toys.
WND confirmed a presentation on sexually transmitted diseases had taken place at the Schofield Barracks in Oahu, Hawaii, on Feb. 14. The source told WND the training event began with a presentation on substance abuse and prevention of sexually transmitted diseases.
“Once the slideshow was complete, the instructors asked for four volunteers,” the source said. “From those who raised their hands, they selected two male and two female soldiers. The instructors split them into two groups with a male and female in each and had them walk up on stage.
“Two small tables covered with blankets had been on the stage throughout the presentation. The soldiers were told to remove the blankets from the tables. They did, exposing erect male penis devices lit-up and sitting on each table.”
The source said many of the hundreds of soldiers and Defense Department civilians and contractors present “immediately appeared uneasy by what was transpiring.” According to the eyewitness, the age group of the audience ranged from late teens to early 70s, with a median age of around 30. Half of the attendees were reportedly women.
The source told WND the highest-ranking officer at the event was a lieutenant colonel.
“What occurred next was 15 minutes of contests to place condoms on male [models of penises],” the source said. “The two men went first followed by the two women. It was done a second time with goggles on to simulate performing this while intoxicated. Then a third contest was conducted to see who could perform this task the fastest.
“Worse yet, people in the audience were filming this event with cameras and cell phones. At the end as contest prizes were awarded, personnel would intentionally pose with their gifts in front of the display tables with the erect penises prominently displayed. The briefing went on for several more minutes while everything on the tables was left exposed in front of the audience.”
The source provided blurry photos of the penises captured with a cell phone.
U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii public affairs spokeswoman Stefanie Gardin told WND, “We regret if anyone was offended by the presentation. This particular presentation was tailored to engage and capture the attention of our younger, enlisted soldiers as their age group has been shown to engage in higher risk behaviors.”
Gardin said the training was optional and counted toward training requirements. She said attendees were informed the training would be “graphic in nature.”
“Instructors explained that attendees were free to leave if they were at all uncomfortable, and that there were other available options to satisfy the yearly ASAP training requirements, such as online courses or other in-person presentations. …
“The demonstration that took place at the end of the training illustrated the correct way to use a condom and the effects that alcohol intake can have on proper use and safer sex practices. Volunteers were chosen from both genders to reinforce the fact that it is important for females, as well as males, to know how to apply a condom, as safer sex practices are a shared responsibility.
“The demonstration was not designed to be a contest for entertainment purposes. Studies have shown that training incorporating active participation engages students and can boost comprehension. Also, activities like demonstrations and practice are acceptable education methods per Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.”
Adding that this type of training is likely considered sexual harassment under Army regulations, WND also asked Gardin why nobody stepped forward to stop the contest. She never provided an answer to that question.
The Army typically requires new and deploying soldiers to receive training on prevention of sexually transmitted diseases, including photos and basic facts about symptoms. However, sex toys and condom races are not a normal part of that training.
Gardin said there were prizes given out at the end of training, but that they “were not related to the condom demonstration.”
When the penises were revealed, the source said many people in the crowd became visibly uneasy: “No one laughed or made any sound. People across the auditorium became uncomfortable, especially the DoD civilian women. They expressed the most disgust for the entire event. Many soldiers and civilians commented that the training presentation was inappropriate, embarrassing and disappointing.”
“When it kept dragging on, soldiers began looking around the auditorium to see if someone would end the training. Many of the young soldiers knew this training event was out of line, but as they looked across the auditorium at their unit leaders and commanders, no one spoke up.”
When questioned, the source said, presenters “defended the sexual demonstration as a standard way to present the STD training and that this was an annual training requirement.”
A second witness told WND, “Nowhere were we told prior to the training that they would be talking about STDs or condoms. We were deliberately misled in that regard and I, along with many others in the audience, both soldiers and civilians were offended by this lack of truthfulness. …
“[W]e are normally required to stay until the bitter end as ASAP is required training; however, STI/condom training is not mandatory … nor do I recall being told that we could leave during the presentation if we were offended.”
The Department of Defense definition of “sexual harassment” is as follows:
A form of sexual discrimination that involves unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when: Submission to, or rejection of, such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of a person’s job, pay, career, or Submission to, or rejection of, such conduct by a person is used as a basis for career or employment decisions affecting that person, or Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment.
Concerned individuals may contact the U.S. Army Pacific Inspector General at (808)438-2811 or the Department of Defense Inspector General at 1-800-424-9098 or by emailing [email protected].