A British swimsuit calendar was allegedly shot on a Utah National Guard base, 'without proper authorization.' The calendar, and accompanying promotional video depicts bikini models posing with automatic weapons, riding in tanks, and wearing outfits made to resemble sexy Army uniforms. The video thanks the 'soldiers of the 19th Special Forces Group', thereby implying their involvement 'in the creation of the clip.'
This incident muddies the progress made to accept women in combat arms roles. Instead it objectifies women, and casts them as props used to sell weapons made by a for-profit UK arms company. This over-sexualization of women allows ideas and labels such as ‘boobs on the ground,' (a phrase that a news anchor used this month), to permeate attitudes towards women in uniform. Even though no official authorization was given, no service member should have participated in spreading the message of this video and calendar out of respect for their sisters in arms.
Utah National Guard Lt. Col. Steven Fairbourn told FOX 13 that an internal investigation had been launched to determine if the guard's "equipment, facilities and personnel" were used. "Productions of this kind are not in keeping with the values of the Utah National Guard nor its members," he said. "Use of military equipment, facilities, and personnel in civilian for-profit endeavors such as this requires approval of National Guard Bureau Public Affairs through the respective state National Guard Headquarters." "There was no official approval for this project," he added. "The investigation will determine if Utah National Guard equipment, facilities, and personnel were used in the Hot Shots 2015 calendar production and required actions if this is the case."