One Army colonel steps down, another suspended over ‘pretty’ soldiers email

The photo that started the controversy. (U.S. Army)

The photo that started the controversy. (U.S. Army)

Two Army colonels involved in a controversy over showing “pretty” female soldiers in Army communications are no longer on the job.

Col. Lynette Arnhart stepped down from her position heading the Army’s study on the integration of women into combat arms over an email she sent saying “pretty women are perceived as having used their looks to get ahead” and “ugly women are perceived as competent.” according to the Army Times.

The email was first revealed by Politico

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Col. Christian Kubik, who was the Training and Doctrine Command public affairs officer who received the email, was suspended.

“It might behoove us to select more average-looking women,” the email said, according to Politico.

 

To illustrate her point, Arnhart cited a photo used with an article by Cone in Army magazine. Cone, the TRADOC commanding general, wrote about Soldier 2020, the Army’s effort to open all Army jobs to women.

 

Arnhart said the point of the article might be missed because a photo of a “pretty” female soldier was used with the article.

 

“For example, the attached article shows a pretty woman, wearing make-up while on deployed duty. Such photos undermine the rest of the message (and may even make people ask if breaking a nail is considered hazardous duty),” Arnhart wrote, according to Politico.

 

The “pretty” woman pictured in the article Arnhart referenced is then-Cpl. Kristine Tejeda, who was deployed to Iraq when the photo was taken in 2011.

 

Tejeda admitted to wearing light eye makeup in the photo but no lipstick. Tejeda, who is now in the National Guard in Texas, told Army Times via Facebook that while the colonel might consider her “too pretty” to seem competent, “she doesn’t know my work ethic or what I have accomplished.”

Read more at the Army Times.

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