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Beyond the pale: anti-gay, racist emails from Army recruiter

— U.S. Army recruiter Sgt. Marcia Ramode, using her military email address to respond to Jersey City resident Corey Andrew, after Ramode learned Andrew was gay.

Is this the General Peter Pace policy at work?

Corey Andrew had his profile and resume posted at, and it caught the eye of Army recruiter Marcia Ramode, who contacted him. He wasn’t interested in a position in the military, particularly because of the ban on gays and lesbians in the military.

When Andrew informed Ramode that he is gay, and believed that the DADT policy was wrong, the two engaged in a three-day email exchange that included statements by Ramode, in her official capacity as a recruiter, that boggle the mind. (Jersey Journal):

After more prodding from Andrew on the Army’s recruitment policy, the messages escalated into a bigoted tirade. For example, Ramode told Andrew that “being gay is disgusting and immoral.”

…Steve Ralls, a director of communications for the Service Members Legal Defense Network, which helps victims of discrimination under the “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy, says Ramode should be fired.

“The recruiter’s remarks were outrageous and offensive in almost every way,” Ralls said. “Anti-gay harassment throughout the military is well documented but this is particularly egregious because the recruiter’s language is so homophobic and racist.”

Andrew forwarded the emails to SLDN, and, well, it blows your mind to see the calibre of people now being allowed to recruit. This is completely unacceptable, and stains the reputation of those wearing the uniform. Can you believe this brazen filth was sent out under a military domain as official business communication

and look at this:

And here’s another, where Ramode tells Andrew to “migrate to another country” if he objects to paying taxes to support the military, which discriminates against gay and lesbian citizens, and “if you do not like me writing in caps then delete my email and do not respond I think it scared you to death.”

According to a statement from public affairs officer, Sgt. Douglas Smith, the U.S. Army Recruiting Command’s Staff Judge Advocate has bumped the case up to Ramode’s commander for “review, investigation and appropriate action.” Ramode, as you might imagine, didn’t return calls from reporters.

Our tax dollars are paying for taxpaying citizens to be treated like this; gays and lesbians are fighting and dying for their country right now, while Ramode gets to sit at a desk and tap out homophobic, racist tirades to U.S. citizens while representing the Army. It’s wrong on so many levels.

NOTE: The Jersey Journal article also noted that the name calling went in both directions once Ramode lobbed the first volley of outlandish statements.

The insults were not only flying one way, as Andrew criticized her vocabulary and poor spelling and, after finding out she was a Native American, wrote:

  “So take that to your next rain dance.”

That was racist and out of bounds as well, but of course the whole nonsense wouldn’t have occurred had Ramode simply said that the military’s policy is that we don’t recruit openly gay and lesbians citizens, and left it at that. She clearly felt the need to unleash the vitriol and it all escalated. She was the one representing the government — and the taxpayers.

UPDATE: in the land of conservative make-believe, Riehl World View chooses to believe that the military recruiter was set up to engage in that flame war. Oh yes — but, she made the first contact, and chose to continue communicating in that manner while representing the government. Get real. If Ramode felt so curiously compelled to respond as she did (or knew any better), she should have opened a Gmail, Yahoo or other non-work account, no? Please.

* The Frontlines:  A Recruiter’s Offensive Emails (h/t SLDN’s Steve Ralls, who shared the email exchanges [PDF])
* Jersey Journal: text of some of the email exchanges.

* Check out Saturday’s live-blogging of SLDN’s 15th Annual National Dinner, featuring audio, videos, speeches, interviews and photos. The Showtime series The L Word was honored for its Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell storyline.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding