Air Force Academy’s War on Women

Civil Air Patrol Air Force CultureFormer Air Force Academy cadets who came forward to say they had been raped. From left: Jessica Brakey, Sharon Fullilove, Kira Mountjoy-Pepka, and Beth Davis. Photograph by Harry Benson.

By Clara Bingham | Vanity Fair | December 2003

[Editor’s Note: If officer candidates cannot be trusted to control themselves in this environment, then they will likely fail in other areas of personal discipline when under duress in deployments over-seas.]

After Beth Davis told the U.S. Air Force Academy she’d been raped by another cadet, she was punished. But she and her classmates Lisa Ballas and Jessica Brakey, who’d also reported sexual assaults, decided to fight the system. The air force is reeling from what they exposed: a covert war against its women.

Vandenberg Hall and other white, monolithic shapes in the academy’s gargantuan geometry, the scale designed to make the individual feel subordinate to the institution at all hours, from reveille to taps.

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