I was a part of the Iraq invasion in 2003. At the time, I was a naive, 24-year-old lieutenant and still a virgin (because of my former Jesus obsession and aversion to cadet marching). I assumed General Order No. 1 would have no impact on my life. I was wrong.
I had no idea that a combat zone would be such a sexually charged environment. Blame it on amped-up testosterone pouring out of aggressive, athletic men. Or blame it on combat stripping even the strongest of men and women down to their core, raw emotions. Combine that with forming special bonds with comrades who promise to do whatever it takes to ensure your safe return home, including sacrificing their life for yours. What do you think happens?
Let me tell you, covert combat sex (or in my case, hard-core making out, because I was too scared to go “All-In”) ranks high on the list of life’s thrills. I’m a comfortable civilian now, and I know it’s impossible to inject that intense passion back into my life. But I reflect on it almost every day. There’s nothing that compares to making love at war.
What would I do if I were in charge? I’d abolish General Order No. 1. Keep the rules that protect soldiers from sexual harassment. But allow deployed officers and troops to have sex while at war. West Point should come to its senses as well.