TAH UPDATE: Misawa Airman Who Claimed Sexual Harassment

| December 4, 2020

A1C Sarah Figueroa

Remember this young lady? She felt her command was unprofessional in handling her sexual harassment case and complained about it on Instagram. Ninja forwarded us the link and Mason posted it up:

https://valorguardians.com/blog/?p=106488

Now there’s a development, and our own ninja sends:

Misawa Airman Who Posted On Instagram About Sexual Harassment Was Granted A Transfer

By CAITLIN DOORNBOS | STARS AND STRIPES

An airman who took to social media to say her reports of sexual harassment were mishandled at Misawa Air Base has been allowed a transfer to another duty station, Task & Purpose reported Thursday.

Airman 1st Class Sarah Figueroa on Oct. 14 posted a photo of herself in uniform to Instagram and wrote that she was “a victim of sexual harassment in the Air Force” by a coworker and complained of the “heartless” way her commander handled her case.

“My commander literally told me not even to my face as i was saying that I am scared for my life (while on a call with my family) that there is nothing left to do,” Figueroa wrote in the post. “… My family was in tears begging him to help me and all he did was defend the guy.”

Read the rest here: Stars and Stripes
Thanks ninja. A couple things about the article; the writer slathered the bias on thick, and S&S is quoting T&P.

My sympathies began with the A1C- there is no excuse for sexual harassment. The situation seems to devolve into “did the crime occur?” and a disgruntled employee being hustled out the door. Not exactly like the article.

Thanks for the pic, Mason.

Category: Air Force, Guest Link

Comments (23)

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  1. Thunderstixx says:

    Those people need to be shot as far as I’m concerned…..
    To do that to a lower enlisted rank is the most dishonorable thing that a man can do to a woman that signed up to serve America.
    Having experience with the subject gives me a special insight on it….
    Shoot the fucks, at dawn, no fucking cigarette, it’s bad for their health…..
    Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck those people…..
    I’ll STFU now…..

  2. Hate_me says:

    The biggest issue with any kind of standard built on the idea of perceived offense – “being offended” – is that guilt is based on the offended party and, thus, subject to that offended party’s whim.

    I don’t believe in blaming the victim, and there is far too little info provided for any public judgment on the situation, yet, there plenty of room for speculation:

    From the information provided, I see a woman posing in a sexually suggestive manner while in uniform. I see her being offended because an unintended audience misinterpreted her own sexualisation of herself in uniform. Note that the charge is harassment, not assault.

    What, exactly, is sexual harassment? By standing policy, it’s unwanted sexual attention – but how is the perpetrator to know it’s unwanted? In theory, it’s because he/she is informed that said attention is unwanted but continues in the same vein.

    Assuming such notice is given (massive assumption), how is abiding by such policy interpreted? Is a smile flirting, or is it simply friendly? I smile at plenty of my colleagues and subordinates. I frown at others. Often, I frown at all of them. I rarely smile at them all (I’m not a very good leader, and they often let me down). There’s a lot of nuance in a single expression.

    If I have to tiptoe around a single troop, am I treating all my soldiers fairly? If I need another soldier present when I counsel a subordinate, am I giving him/her the personal and professional mentorship he/she deserves in a manner that best benefits him/her?

    I can’t know, from the info provided, if she has any legitimate complaint. From the info provided, I’m inclined to believe she’s full of shit.

    Sadly, I assume she’ll be 100% disability for doing nothing but taking offense.

    I picked the right pseudonym.

  3. 5th/77th FA says:

    He said/she said/who said/say what?

    Having been a victim of false accusations, my initial response to this is as before, Ms Thang using her race and sex to throw down two cards to get her way. I wasn’t there so I don’t really know what happened, but…

    Wah wah wah, “I haven’t seen my family in a year…” BFD, not real sure about these days, but back yonder there were unaccompanied tours that were 2 years, or more. Seems like the recruiters are required to inform potential recruits that the job may require long hours, long separations from family, and could get dangerous. Suck it up Buttercup. The non releasing of where she was reassigned is very telling. In my military time, we would transfer out a trouble troop. In my civilian career we would reassign or get rid of an employee that was causing trouble for others. LOOK AT ME ME ME ME! I’M SPECIAL!

    I NEVER saw a legit case of harassment in either the Military or Civilian World that was not thoroughly investigated, and if there was true guilt, swift and sure punishment.

    • Slow Joe says:

      Buttercup had a great career. After being a princess bride she became an Amazon warrior leader and the wife of an sleazy politician.

  4. ChipNASA says:

    Karma is a bitch.
    I’ll let her handle this case.

  5. Roger B Watts says:

    Is there still an air Force station at Wakkanai on Hokkiado? She sounds like a perfect candidate for a transfer there. If she doesn’t like Misawa, she will really not like Wakkanai.

  6. Sapper3307 says:

    So she got the transfer to the base her man was station on. Just keep her happy.

  7. OWB says:

    Not enough information available to make an informed judgement on what may or may not have happened. That said, there are still a few truisms in play that apply to this case.

    Harassment requires a pattern of unwanted attention. Someone making a single suggestive remark is not harassment. It could be the beginning of harassment or it could be a socially inept person seeing if the other person is interested. A single overture made and rejected should be a freebie. If it happens a second time, the situation has elevated and perhaps a tape recorder in a pocket to document a pattern of whatever is being said and the negative response to it would be in order. Multiple times, since a single incident is not harassment.

    Lacking documentation of multiple occasions of unwanted attention no one can prove harassment.

    In this case, there is documentation of her publishing suggestive pictures of herself. That does not help her. At all. Nor does it prove that she “deserves” anything.

    Just one opinion.

  8. Ret_25X says:

    knowing an individual stationed there, I will relay her message on this–“none of it makes any sense at all.”

  9. Mike B USAF Retired says:

    Remember when the Military made telling an joke harassment, and defined harassment as when someone is offended by your remarks.

    Person one telling person two a joke and a third person hears it and is offended by it. Makes a complaint and person one is in hot water for sexual harassment.

    I chewed the ass of a troop that lied about the loss of his CAC card. Later that day he accused me of being a racist to our command staff. Yeah it was BS, yeah it went away, but there is always the lingering question.

    • Slow Joe says:

      What happened to that General that called a reporter sweetheart?

      • ninja says:

        He became President of the United States:

        “Obama’s ‘Sweetie’: Spontaneous or Sexist?”

        https://abcnews.go.com/GMA/Vote2008/story?id=4870599

        “May 16, 2008 — — The recent flap over Sen. Barack Obama calling a female reporter “sweetie” sparked a national dialogue over what is acceptable language between men and women in the workplace.”

        “The moment came at a campaign stop in Detroit, when Peggy Agar, a reporter at ABC’s Detroit affiliate WXYZ-TV, asked Obama this question: “Senator, how are you going to help the American autoworkers?”

        “Hold on a second, sweetie. We’ll hold a press avail,” replied Obama, referring to a structured question and answer session with the media.”

        “Hours later, Obama left Agar a voicemail, apologizing for not answering her question and for calling her “sweetie.”

        “That’s a bad habit of mine,” Obama said in the message. “I do it sometimes with all kinds of people. I mean no disrespect and so I am duly chastened on that front.”

        “It apparently is a habit. In an earlier campaign stop, Obama said to a woman, “Sweetie, if I start with a picture I will never get out of here.”

        “And then: “Sweetie if I start doing autographs I just won’t be … I am really late.”

        “While the extent of the political fallout over Obama’s use of the word is unclear, his “habit” has become fodder for talk shows and bloggers.”

        “On “The View,” Whoopie Goldberg said that it wasn’t such a big deal. “And what he meant to say I believe was with no disrespect, ’cause I call everyone sweetie if I don’t know their name,” she said.”

        “When men throw out words like sweetie or honey or girl in movies like “9 to 5” or “Anchorman,” it is portrayed as supremely condescending.”

        “GMA” workplace contributor Tory Johnson said that each person has to decide if they are offended by the use of certain words, and to make it clear they are uncomfortable.”

        “If you don’t like someone calling you sweetie, call them on it, but don’t assume their intentions are bad,” Johnson said.”

        “I think in general, whether politics or in the workplace, when we start policing spontaneity we’re in trouble. And we should let people be themselves, and we should not assume the worst when somebody uses a word like sweetie.”

        “For her part, reporter Peggy Agar wasn’t upset about being called sweetie. “I felt more offended that he didn’t answer the question,” she said.”

    • rgr1480 says:

      …Person one telling person two a joke and a third person hears it and is offended by it. Makes a complaint and person one is in hot water for sexual harassment….

      That happened to one of our scientists here at an agency where we put things up into space as well as aerial-type research.

      Scientist 1 joked to engineer 2 to use the ladies room since he might be more comfortable there. Good joke, both laughed. LGBTQXYZ (an XY male) overheard the joke and reported Scientist 1; Scientist 1 got read the Riot Act. Everybody had to download and read/acknowledge reading about sexual harassment.

      Bloody Hell!

  10. timactual says:

    ” maybe they’ll consider letting me go on EMERGENCY leave to visit my family that i haven’t seen in OVER A YEAR”

    When I was in the service we used to get 30 days leave every year. Did that nasty old commanding officer steal her leave?

    • Hack Stone says:

      Hack Stone had not set foot in the Western Hemisphere for two years straight (to the day) back in 1984 – 1986. Of course, he did take advantage of that free 30 days R&R for extending, but until everyone on this blog signs a Non Disclosure Agreement, you will not be briefed.

      • KoB says:

        I admit nothing…call my lawer!

        I guess that hollering out “Come here you good lookin’ Thang, let me bite you on the neck” is a no go anymore. How about, “I’d like to stand you on your head and treat you like an ice cream cone.” No?

      • timactual says:

        A 30 day R&R? Jeepers, I was bumming cigarette money ($0.15/pack) after a one week R&R. Did you spend the month in a monastery? Sell your soul to the devil? Did pay scales increase that much? Or maybe I just overpaid after taking on an excess cargo of adult beverages.

    • Mike B USAF Retired says:

      During a 4 year assignment to Germany (Extended long tour volunteer, accompanied) I only took leave twice and both times for 30 days to go back to the US.

      Those two times was for the birth of thing one (Wife was in the US due to complications of her pregnancy) and two (She was in the US because they weren’t seeing dependents on base during Desert Shield/Desert Storm).

      Thing 3 was born days after we arrived back in the US after completion of my tour.

  11. A Proud Infidel®™ says:

    I wonder if they didn’t just swap her out because she was such a pain in the ass to her CoC?