Sexual Harassment Charged in Texas Air National Guard
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas (AP) _ A female Air National Guard officer has filed a complaint against several male pilots, charging they degraded her in a scrapbook full of sexual comments and pornographic pictures.
″I was very angry, very upset and just wondering why they would have those perceptions of me,″ said Capt. Margaret Maestas, who’s in charge of equal opportunity grievances for the 149th Fighter Group.
The comments about Ms. Maestas were written on a document that defines the Air National Guard’s policy against sexual harassment.
The book, dubbed the ″Hog Log,″ was maintained by pilots in the 182nd Air National Guard squadron in the 149th Fighter Group at Kelly Air Force Base in San Antonio. The Corpus Christi Caller-Times obtained it and published excerpts Wednesday.
The log was compiled from May 1993 to March 1994, despite increased military awareness about sexual harassment after the 1991 Navy Tailhook scandal. The Tailhook Association convention took place in Las Vegas, and dozens of women said they were molested by drunken aviators.
Retired Maj. Gen. Belisario Flores, assistant adjutant general of the Texas Air National Guard for 15 years, likened the matter to the Tailhook scandal, adding: ″I wouldn’t want a female member of my family to be exposed to that kind of harassment. It’s shameful.″
Pilots in the 182nd used the book to catalog various events and sexual comments about co-workers and public figures.
Col. Rodney McNelley, the Texas Guard’s chief of staff, said an investigation has been ordered. The complaint was filed with authorities at the squadron, and it’s yet to be determined what charges the officers might face.
The number of F-16 fighter pilots contributing to the scrapbook was unknown, although the Caller-Times said at least 18 code names were used.
National Guard spokesman Ed Komandosky said the ″Hog Log″ books are a tradition among pilots. This one appears to have gotten out of hand, he said, but he couldn’t be sure until the Guard’s investigation is complete.
The pilots also poke fun at Hispanic Lt. Col. Ramiro Rodriguez, commander of the 149th Resource Management Squadron at Kelly. He was among those who filed discrimination complaints that prompted a yearlong state and federal equal opportunity investigation of the Texas Guard in 1992.
Col. Gary Walston, commander of the 149th Fighter Group, and the pilots referred telephone calls to public affairs officer, Maj. Celso Martinez.
″It’s going beyond the bounds of good taste,″ Martinez said. ″This is just another example of the military needing to clean its act up, and perhaps it’s time for us to do that.″