Military Leaders: Trump’s Attitudes Toward Women and

Sexual Assault Make Him Unfit to Lead the U.S. Military
Our commander-in-chief sets the tone for what is acceptable for our nation. Last Friday, a video
surfaced in which Republican Presidential Nominee Donald Trump made extremely disturbing
statements about women. In a private conversation, he boasted of engaging in acts constituting
sexual assault, violence, and aggression against women, and doing so from a position of power. In
this tape, he not only denigrated women—he dehumanized them, referring to one woman as “it”
and reducing the women discussed to body parts to be objectified.
This behavior renders him utterly unworthy of being commander-in-chief and president. If given
such power, Donald Trump would create a command climate intolerant of women and
incompatible with a trained, ready, and honorable military.
Mr. Trump owes all women a meaningful apology. Those political leaders who continue to support
him should disavow their support immediately. If they do not, they will face the judgment of
Americans. And if they do not condemn this egregious behavior, they will have reset the standard
for leadership at an unacceptably low level.
Those of us who are women are keenly aware that equality within the armed forces has been hard
won, and each of us has experienced the ongoing battle for equality to some degree. We are
particularly sensitive to the issue of sexual assault, as the military is currently attempting to
address sexual violence within its ranks. In 2014, roughly 20,200 members of our armed forces
(10,600 men and 9,600 women) were sexually assaulted. One in seven of them were victims of an
officer in their chain of command and therefore feared retaliation from the hierarchy or their
coworkers.We know this is an institutional weakness that creates distrust. Some of us have
ourselves experienced either sexual assault or sexual harassment during our service.
If Donald Trump is not repudiated, no amount of training and policy review will bring the changes
needed in behavior. During the Commander-in-Chief Forum, Trump appeared to be very
confused about the significance of this issue. He suggested that sexual assault should be expected
in the military “when they put men and women together.”
Perhaps, given his previous statements, we should not be surprised by Donald Trump’s
statements captured in Friday’s tape. However, its contents are even more repulsive. Together
with his remarks at the Forum, they suggest that he condones—and indeed, has himself engaged
in—the abuse of a position of power for sexual gratification. This disqualifies him from being
commander-in-chief.
The American people deserve better than a misogynist-in-chief. Donald Trump's behavior is
antithetical to American values.
As retired military professionals, we condemn Donald Trump in the strongest terms. We call for
all those who have endorsed him to renounce their support, and remind them: history is watching.

General Lloyd Newton, USAF (ret.)
General Johnnie Wilson, USA (ret.)
General Lester Lyles, USAF (ret.)
Lieutenant General Walter Gaskin, USMC (ret.)
Lieutenant General Willie Williams, USMC (ret.)
Lieutenant General John Castellaw, USMC (ret.)
Lieutenant General Mark Hertling, USA (ret.)
Lieutenant General Claudia Kennedy, USA (ret.)
Lieutenant General Donald Kerrick, USA (ret.)
Lieutenant General Arlen D. Jameson, USAF (ret.)
Vice Admiral Donald Arthur, USN (ret.)
Vice Admiral Kevin Green, USN (ret.)
Major General Fredric H. Leigh, USA (ret.)
Major General Randy Manner, USA (ret.)
Major General Peter Cooke, USAR (ret.)
Major General Irv Halter, USAF (ret.)
Major General Gale Pollock, USA (ret.)
Major General Roger Blunt, USA (ret.)
Major General Dennis Laich, USAR (ret.)
Major General Donna Barbisch, USA (ret.)
Major General Margaret Woodward, USAF (ret.)
Major General Richard Haddad, USAF (ret.)
Rear Admiral Dave Oliver, USN (ret.)
Rear Admiral Janice Hamby, USN (ret.)
Rear Admiral John Hutson, USN (ret.)

Rear Admiral Jamie Barnett, USN (ret.)
Rear Admiral Mike Smith, USN (ret.)
Rear Admiral Deborah Loewer, USN (ret.)
Rear Admiral Christopher Cole, USN (ret.)
Rear Admiral Steve Glass, USNR (ret.)
Rear Admiral Jay DeLoach, USNR (ret.)
Rear Admiral Harold Robinson, USN (ret.)
Rear Admiral Richard E. Young, USN (ret.)
Rear Admiral Glenn Phillips, USN (ret.)
Brigadier General Evelyn Foote, USA (ret.)
Brigadier General Roosevelt Barfield, USA (ret.)
Brigadier General Carlos Martinez, USAF (ret.)
Brigadier General Paul Gregory Smith, USARNG (ret.)
Brigadier General John Schuster, USAR (ret.)
Brigadier General Julia Cleckley, USA (ret.)
Brigadier General Ricardo Aponte, USAF (ret.)
Brigadier General John Douglass, USAF (ret.)
Brigadier General Daniel Woodward, USAF (ret.)
Brigadier General Judy Griego, ANG (ret.)
Brigadier General Stephen Cheney, USMC (ret.)
Brigadier General Ronald Tokosz, USA (ret.)
Brigadier General Bruce Berwick, USA (ret.)
Brigadier General John Watkins, USA (ret.)
Brigadier General David Irvine, USA (ret.)
Brigadier General Marianne Watson, USARNG (ret.)
Brigadier General Clara Adams-Ender, USA (ret.)

Brigadier General David Brahms, USMC (ret.)
Colonel Inger Nilsson, USAR (ret.)
Lieutenant Colonel Carmen Aponte, USAF (ret.)
Lieutenant Colonel Frederick Wellman, USA (ret.)
Commander Carlos Del Toro, USN (ret.)

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