Letter to US DoD re: Walk a Mile in Her Shoes

May 05, 2015


Mr. Jon T. Rymer

Inspector General, U. S. Department of Defense

4800 Mark Center Drive
Alexandria, VA 22350-1500


Re:      Request for Investigation & Formal Complaint

            Article 133, Conduct Unbecoming an Officer

            Major General Peggy C. Combs

            U.S. Army Cadet Command, Fort Knox, KY


Mr. Rymer,

AVfM, Education, LLC is an international men’s human rights advocacy, educational, research and journalistic organization.  Our directors, advisors, liaisons, and members are men and women from a wide variety of professions around the globe.  Our membership is in the tens of thousands in more than 20 nations and we have affiliates in eight countries, publishing in seven languages. You can learn more about AVfM, our interests, efforts, and numerous accomplishments by visiting our website, www.avoiceformen.com.

During the month of April 2015, many entities across the country recognized Sexual Assault Awareness Month, including virtually all college campuses.

It has come to our attention that two universities; specifically Temple University and Arizona State University conducted a unique social experiment that was carried out by the ROTC program.

At both of those schools, ROTC cadets were ordered to wear red women’s high heel shoes and partake in a one mile walk through the campuses in an event that was titled, “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes,”  allegedly to raise awareness of the problem of domestic violence and sexual assault on college campuses.

Numerous news media sources have thoroughly documented and filmed the event which vividly depicts male soldiers wearing red high heel shoes while dressed in official military camouflage uniforms, a direct violation of Army regulation 670-1. This coverage has proliferated throughout social media platforms.

Besides the direct violation of Army regulations, this act, reportedly ordered at the highest levels of the Army Cadet Command was demeaning, humiliating, and embarrassing to the male cadets who were ordered to take part.

This politically motivated and ideological event is an embarrassment to the United States military, which demands an official investigation.  It is obvious from the thousands of negative comments on social media that this stunt has less to do with raising awareness about sexual assault and more to do with humiliating male ROTC cadets for the sake of gender politics. The cadets were under duress not in a position to object to their treatment.

It is unknown who actually ordered the ROTC cadets to comply, however the ultimate responsibility falls on the shoulders of the leadership of the Cadet Command, Major General Peggy C. Combs.  The number of websites, message boards and Facebook pages depicting these events are too numerous to list but can be found in a matter of seconds with a basic internet search.

This organization, as well as many others across the country deplores domestic violence, sexual harassment and assault. When proven true, we believe that violators should be punished in accordance with all applicable laws.

There has been sweeping news media attention in the past few years of an “epidemic” of sexual assault in the military.  The truth however is that there is no epidemic of sexual assault in the military. Extrapolated figures based on a recent survey using flawed methodology has fueled an irrational public and subsequently irrational political reaction even though the claim of an epidemic has already been debunked.

Contrived statistics have fueled a near hysteria that has been exacerbated by a number of political leaders and ideologically driven special interest groups.  This has resulted in a narrative which portrays all male soldiers and cadets as suspected perpetrators, and women only as victims or survivors.  This is in complete contrast to overwhelming evidence that members of both sexes fall into the classes of both perpetrators and victims. [1][2][3]

Sadly, the result of all this is that men in the military are now targeted as useful political pawns by senior military and political leadership.

AVfM respectfully asks the Office of the Department of Defense Inspector General to conduct a full and comprehensive investigation to determine who in the Cadet Command, chain of command, ordered male only ROTC Cadets to participate in a political charade and whether such orders were lawful.

If in fact it is determined that Major General Peggy Combs; the Commanding Officer of the Cadet Command is responsible, we ask that she be court-martialed in accordance with Article 133 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice; Conduct Unbecoming an Officer.  AVfM also respectfully asks that the Inspector General’s office issue a public apology and media press release to the cadets who were affected, their families, and the universities in which these events occurred.

AVfM fully supports eliminating sexual harassment and assault in the military.  However, the meme of “raising awareness” has reached a point that can only be described as abusive, with constant and repeated briefings depicting only males as perpetrators and only women as victims.  The military now appears to be acting at the behest of ideologues to further a political agenda, not to ameliorate the issue of sexual assault.  The discrimination against male military members is having the deleterious effect of furthering division and mistrust between service personnel of different sexes.

AVfM welcomes the results of an investigation.  If the DoD Office of Inspector General has any questions, please feel free to contact this organization, and we respectfully request a written response to this correspondence in accordance with normal business practices.

Sincerely & Respectfully,


Paul Elam, Chief Executive Officer, AVfM Operations, LLC



  1. http://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/2014/03/military-men-distressed.aspx
  2. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/24/us/in-debate-over-military-sexual-assault-men-are-overlooked-victims.html?_r=0
  3. https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/military/news/2013/06/06/65602/5-myths-about-military-sexual-assault/


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