December 31, 2014
Army 1st Sgt. Katrina Moerk was browsing on social media when she came upon a video that she disliked, deeming it “unethical” and “offensive.” She responded saying so, only to be attacked by several other commenters, some of whom were wearing their uniforms in their photos. So Moerk took action, and reported them to the Department of Defense.
“I looked them up, introduced myself and explained to them why they were stupid. And I [copied] the director of the Army SHARP program to help their units improve their SHARP training, because it was obviously lacking. And it’s kind of blown up from there,” Moerk said. SHARP stands for Sexual Harassment Assault Response and Prevention. For this, Moerk was awarded the Army Commendation Medal, calling her actions the epitome of being an NCO, soldier and leader.
Not everyone feels that this medal is deserved, though. Some have questioned why an Army First Sergeant didn’t have more important things to do than surf the internet and complain about what she found. More common is the complaint that Moerk completely disregarded chain of command, and went straight to the Department of Defense. Since Moerk was able to identify the soldiers, as well as their units, the first course of action would typically be to contact the 1st Sgts of those units and send the complaint to them. By skipping the chain of command, she refused the unit the chance to handle this problem before taking it higher up the ladder, and she also completely blindsided not only the soldiers involved, but their superiors, who had no idea that there was any issue. The entire job of an NCO is to be able to handle issues such as these, but instead, Moerk chose to go to the Pentagon. She likely destroyed the careers of multiple soldiers, because she got her feelings hurt and couldn’t bother to abide by the chain of command that everyone else in the military works by — and then was rewarded for it.
Of course, simply contacting the NCOs in charge of these soldiers probably wouldn’t have netted her the ARCOM and the attention she is enjoying now.
Interestingly, while Moerk has decided that people being rude to her is unacceptable, she thinks nothing, apparently, of writing rude comments to others online. She contacted milblogger Jonn Lilyea, who covered this story, identified herself as a 1st Sgt, and then called him an “asshat.” Evidently, 1st Sgt. Moerk is a fan of double standards.
Read more at http://rare.us/story/female-1st-sgt-gets-arcom-for-complaining-about-an-internet-chat-room/#CUFbLWk8EoWMhcrZ.99