A culture of vicious hazing and sexual abuse held sway at the US Navy's bomb-sniffing dog division in Bahrain for years, a Youth Radio investigation finds. Documents obtained under the Freedom of Information act state that incidents included "throwing hard balls at the groin" and "a dog attacking a sex worker on base to the point of hospitalization." One recruit says he was bullied and forced to simulate gay sex after refusing to visit prostitutes with the other men.
Two female service members were handcuffed and ordered to simulate sex, records show. "Personnel were held accountable" for the abuses but no records are available, according to a military spokeswoman. One female member of the unit says she nearly left the military after her "horrible" deployment in Bahrain but decided to stay in the service to effect change. "How can we sit there and try to promote honor, courage and commitment when we have people like that in the military?” she asked. “That's why I hope I can make rank and make a difference somehow, in a small way, hopefully."