The Army Sees Increase of STDs in Latin America Posts


    Soldiers who are assigned to Latin America as advisors are having a frightful time, and their superiors are begging for it to be stopped. They've already been warned in the fall of last year when STDs had dramatically increased in both the married and single troops. They were also swept to the ground for drinking too much and using computers belonging to the Army to use local dating apps and Tinder, in which there are a lot of Latin American women looking to find a U.S. male.

    The scorching heat hit in January, after a frustrated military spouse anonymously alerted an official in the senior ranks of the 1st Security Force Assistance Brigade by text. The text accused the individuals of the advisory group who were stationed to Tolemaida, Columbia of debauchery, excessive drinking, partying, and a general flinging around. The Army was forced to initiate an investigation.

    Two unidentified emails in the fall of last year have resulted in the advisors in Tolemaida getting a slap on the wrist. However, the message in the text indicated that the issue could be much more serious than initially anticipated, as the activity did not appear to have diminished in any way.

    September was when Command Sergeant. Major. Christopher J. Williams sent out an email to the team leaders of the first SFAB. “There has been an increase of STDs in the BDE since we began to deploy in Central as well as South America in both married and unmarried Soldiers. This is very alarming and I wanted all advisors to know that health stats are rising and this is happening mostly to advisors who have deployed.”

    In October, Williams sent another email to let people know that he had heard about advisors who were acting out “across the formation,” which included soldiers from Columbia and, more specifically, one group in Honduras. Then, he received a text message that he received in January, which said that his threats were ignored.

    Williams acknowledged to the soldiers that certain of the information he's been hearing could be rumors “but I am hearing more and more as the months and weeks go by,” Williams said.

    “We have all now been in country for about two months and I am hearing that we have advisors that have broken the GO#1 no drinking policy without approval,” the email stated. “[W]e have advisors that have violated curfew policy, we have married advisors that have TINDER accounts, advisors that have been hitting on hotel staff and we have teams that are not following all rules and guidelines.”

    In a way of addressing the soldiers, Williams said, “We are here for a reason, not on a vacation or looking for a partner. I'm asking you to have colleagues who are engaging in unethical, unprofessional, or even deliberate wrong-doing {(ic) Stop immediately. I trust you. I don't want to be burned since I believe in you. I trust leaders to keep the standards of discipline.”

    The issue is the one of sending small groups of soldiers into areas that are separated from the routine Army and receive little supervision or direction. It's also difficult to control because the majority of teams are males in their 20s with no fear of being targeted, and the chances to be a jerk are so numerous.

    By reading the text, Williams knows the advisors have only shot their own bodies using painful penicillin shots. He also knows nobody has been physically hurt. Williams also knows that the actions will never end; however he's got to create a way to appear as if it's really doing something. Is it too cliché to claim that, right or not, “boys will be boys?”


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