condomsAt Rose Barracks in Germany in the aftermath of Desert Storm in Iraq, my Supply Sergeant lugged in three Hefty bags full of condoms and dropped them on my orderly room floor. I was First Sergeant for an MP company called up for the war. Condoms were now standard issue in the army.

“The company that loves together stays together, First Sergeant,” the Supply Sergeant quipped. “Make sure we tell our soldiers to keep fornication within the company. No sense raising the morale of some other outfit.”

I had been to wars, spent much of my military career as a tough sergeant in combat outfits like Special Forces. Until Desert Storm I had not dealt with women in combat. Now, I had 21 women in my 122-soldier company. Old sergeants like me used to stand ramrod straight in front of a formation and bellow, “All right, men! Sound off like you got a pair.”

Not anymore.

The career of any soldier who did not at least pay lip service to women’s rights in the military, including the right to accompany men into combat, received the kiss of death. Intimidated officers routinely lied about the activities of women or exaggerated them. Political correctness enforced—and to hell with truth.

It became apparent that my MPs would be burning more rubber than gunpowder. Rumors about who was or wasn’t sleeping with whom, where, and how many times reminded me of some bizarre juxtaposition of M*A*S*H and The Love Boat. Ten of my 21 females became pregnant within the first six months.

The army accepted there was nothing you could do about pregnancies except issue condoms and maternity battle dress uniforms. Pregnant women waddled about garbed in combat boots and maternity camouflage. Charlie Signal Company on the floor below my MPs had a female so pregnant she needed help getting in and out of her chair at the chow hall.

In the meantime, the press exploded with headlines about women and photos of cute rifle-toting blondes from Texas and buxom warrior brunettes from California. “Nanny Wears Combat Boots,” headlines blazed. “Papa Stays Home with Junior While Mommy Defends the Nation.”

In the barracks I sat on the edge of the bed while Specialist Norwood gripped my hand and sobbed softly. There was a war going on and she was having a miscarriage. I stared at the wall, a little confused by it all. The feminization of the American military. A kinder, gentler military. Tough combat sergeants settling female spats and handling miscarriages.

How can you run an army when male soldiers are fighting over female soldiers and the females keep turning up pregnant and can’t work or fight? Didn’t the fools at Higher-Higher understand this is what happens when you throw young men and young women together?

Israeli General Moshe Dayan said it first: “Any nation that sends its mothers, wives and sisters to war is a nation not worth preserving.”

Always A Warrior by Charles W. Sasser is the author’s story of a life spent in combat zones around the world. Out of print, it can still be found used on