The possible change arose after an extensive two-month investigation of sexual misconduct at the Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, site. To this point, four instructors have undergone courts-martial proceedings and two more are scheduled. Also, one instructor received non-judicial punishment and 11 others are under investigation.
Maj. Gen. Len Patrick, 2nd Air Force commander who is responsible for basic military training, told media last week that investigators were looking at all aspects, although female-only instructors was not being aggressively pursued at this point.
“It’s an option,” Patrick added. “But we want to train like we fight. We don’t want to create something we’ll have to overcome in the future. Young men are going to have to learn how to be supervised by women and vice versa.”
So far, Air Education and Training Command has directed that at least one of four assigned instructors must be female when there are either two all-female flights or a “brother and sister flight.”
“When I start molding the young airmen, early on I want them to be exposed to all genders,” Patrick stressed. “It starts in BMT.”
AETC has also cracked down on social media, blocking all social networking sites from government computers at the Lackland location. Officials said the majority of investigated social misconduct cases began on sites such as Facebook and Twitter. MTIs will no longer have access to graduates’ cell phones.
A press release issued by the San Antonio base said the two-month investigation required more than 20,000 man hours. The probe included focus groups with trainees, students and MTIs; analysis of more than 25,000 end-of-course surveys by MTI graduates dating back to 2009; and a survey of more than 18,000 trainees, students and instructors.
Gen. Edward Rice Jr., commander of AETC, said he was currently reviewing the findings and recommendations.
“We are well along in this process,” Rice said in the statement, “and (we) look forward to releasing the report and announcing detailed actions to address the way ahead after I brief Air Force leadership in late October.”