Saturday, October 01, 2011

"Gone for Soldiers Every One" or just "Women in Uniform"

I am really not in favor of War, especially not when the result is coffins with the bodies of young soldiers brought back from faraway places, but with the recent repeal of DADT in the US I thought that it was time to venture out to look for a few "Women in Uniform".

This time we could start out in the movies! The first female soldier I think that I came across was "Private Benjamin" as in a Goldie Hawn flick from the '80's - a lot of fun at the time, but perhaps a bit out of date by now (?) - and even if there is a hint of bisexuality in the movie it's all just for "fun".

Kelly McGillis as Top Gun Instructor
I know that Kelly McGillis wasn't really a soldier in "Top Gun" and that the movie was too high on testosterone to ring any bells, but I am pretty sure she would have been able to find a well fitting flight suite had she needed one!

Demi Moore as Lt. Jordan O'Neil
If we continue down the movie trail we will eventually hit the ocean ... you know that the sea is the perfect element for a SEAL, don't you? So I guess that we could go see if "GI Jane" chose to ring the bell ... now this woman IS a soldier and she chose to be tested with the best, but I think that she might be overdoing it just a bit - even if her one-handed push ups is impressive.

We might want equal opportunities, but should it be on male terms and standards ... ? 

On-handed push ups!
In "GI Jane" we get a hint on the consequences of living as a homosexual in the military, but even if Lt. Jordan O'Neil turns herself into one hard butch GI for the sake of joining a SEAL team, and has her sexuality questioned in the process, we don't really get to see if this has any impact on her love life.  

Glenn Close
Glenn Close and Judy Davis
Further down the movie trail we encounter "Serving in Silence: The Margarethe Cammermeyer Story". This is the real-life story of Colonel Margarethe Cammermeyer of the US National Guard who was involuntary discharge when she admitted she was gay. This is the story of her coming out and her legal battle following the discharge.

I think Glenn Close and Judy Davis made a nice couple and it's fun to watch the slightly up-tight colonel trying to find equal footing with her more bohemian love interest, but beware this is a movie from the mid '90s  - you might find it a bit dated!

Should you want to explore the theme of real life LGBT veterans, you can look up the publication "Proud to Serve". Some of the pictures from the book is available here.

Now lets turn to Fan Fic's with a theme on "Women in Uniform" or perhaps just a woman in uniform. I think that we should start out with the end..... serving in the military and especially at a time when your country choose to go to war might bear the ultimate consequence for you and your family. This is the theme that Cheyne explore in "Requiem" - so don't go there unless you have a tissue handy.

While we visit with Cheyne I might as well tell you that she has written a much longer story with Women in Uniform - "Permission to Recover". All 582 pages (!) of this story is posted at The Athemaeum and very well rated by the readers, but due to the length I've never read it. So I can't really tell you if the story is worth you time - let me know if it's a good read!

Moving on to Ft. Bragg we get to meet the Top of Headquarters Company. The long and lean 1SG Karen Wilson and her new "butter bar" 2Lt Whitney Gordon who is going to serve as the company XO. What could have been a nasty battle of strength between a competent NCO and a still "wet behind the ear" officer, turns out to be a - not too mushy - but still enjoyable meeting of two women both in need of a new friend and perhaps more .... if just one of them has the nerve to break the silence that DADT and the band on fraternisation poses on them. "XO" by C. Paradee is not a story of war but a little romance and drama mixed on the backdrop of an army base and some military jargon. 

If you want real fighting you could look up Larisa's "Da Nang", but you will be looking at VC snipers and sneaky fighting, dirt, blood and death bodies - so join the fun at you own risk. If you want your soldier in Dress White you can take a look at Pez in Larisa's "The Ice Princess", but even though Pez do her fair bit of fighting, it's still in the relatively calm scenery of an ER and not on the battlefield. Should you on the other hand want to go to Officer Candidate School you can join Brennen Magdonn as she enters at The Quantico Marine Corps Base, and don't worry there are lot's of butch lesbians who is always faith full ... "Semper Fi" by Larisa.

Leaving Larisa will get us into combat again this time with Master Sgt. Halley a Marine trained for specialized missions in hostile countries. 15 years in the service and wondering if this is what life has to offer, Halley starts to question her heart and what she find is the blue eyes of Commander Eden a Top Gun Navy Aviator. But before Halley and Eden can say more than "Hallo" the women find themselves on a deadly mission in enemy territory, where finding cover is much more important than "Finding Your Heart"!

I for one prefer to have my soldiers in a more relaxed setting, so I'll venture out on a "Blind Date" by D with a nervous marine by the name of Lark, and an annoyed Mel who has been pushed hard by her best friend Claire to have dinner with Lark, while she is home on leave. You won't get much soldiering done in this fic, but you will get to "see" our marine in her green class A service uniform - a formidable look if we go by Mel's judgment!

For a more humorous outlook on life in the service look up Major Sheila Patton when she attach "The Nipple Factory" .... only to find a lonely and frustrated woman in need of some hand holding.

Now I will leave you to your reading - please dodge any bullets coming your way - stay safe!


  1. "Permission to Recover" has been reviewed (by me) on As I virtually never review stories I don't like, you won't be surprised when I say "definitely worth your time!"