Air Force Dismisses Single Mom -- For Being a Single Mom! (VIDEO)

Mom Moment 50

rebecca edmondsDo single moms make the Air Force less military ready? Rebecca Edmonds was dismissed from the Air Force for failing to report her pregnancy while in training -- and because the Air Force has a policy against single parents enlisting. Edmonds found this all out the hard way.

She was just weeks away from graduation at Marquette University and a cadet with the Reserve Officers' Training Corps when she found out she was pregnant. She kept the pregnancy a secret, graduated, and was sworn in as a Second Lieutenant by her father, Captain Tony Edmonds. But when her pregnancy was revealed, she was dismissed from the service for fraud. Apparently the contract she signed stipulated that she report any pregnancy. But for Edmonds this isn't about fraud. This is about the injustice of the Air Force's policy against single parents.

Edmonds had forgotten about the pregnancy clause in her contract. But it was the final counseling session with her officer that really kept her from reporting her pregnancy. She says he told her, "I don't know what would happen to a cadet if she were to become pregnant. But I don't think it would be good. So just don't get pregnant." Edmonds was scared that she would be pressured to have an abortion or give up her baby.

Here's what a spokesman for the Air Force, Col. Kelly L. Goggins, told CNN would have happened if Edmonds had reported her pregnancy: "If Ms. Edmonds had reported her pregnancy, she would have been placed on medical recheck status until she gave birth. At that time she would have been able to commission if she were not a single parent, for example, if she were married, or had given the child up for adoption." Gulp! According to Edmonds and her parents, there is an implied third example: If she had aborted her baby. The Air Force says they would encourage no such thing.

At any rate, the Air Force says their policy against single parents enlisting is all about military readiness. Supposedly a single parent is less flexible. If you're deployed at the last minute, who will take care of your child? Can you leave at the drop of a hat, like married parents can?

But I think that's an outdated -- and inaccurate -- take on single parenting. In Edmond's case, she has a large, supportive family who could provide childcare for her at a moment's notice. And for that matter, who says a married couple would necessarily be more flexible? What if you have a sick or disabled spouse -- or if your spouse is abusive or otherwise unreliable?

Rebecca should have reported her pregnancy. And the Air Force does need to be able to deploy its service people at any time. But I think the Air Force needs to update its idea of a family. Being married isn't the only way to be a successful, reliable, and effective parent in the military. 

Do you think the Air Force should reconsider its policy against single parents enlisting?


Image via CNN

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mrsjonzy mrsjonzy

I'm sorry but it's not outdated. The government asks a lot of the military and thinking that you can do it alone is naive and selfish. 12-16 hour days are the rule not the exception, even finding childcare on a regular basis that would take your child for undisclosed amounts of times and weird hours is a lot to ask. The base daycares have wait lists that are years long. The second she gets stations somewhere without family that supportive family element is gone. I'm not saying it can't be done, spouses die, couples get divorced, things happen but for the military to say from the get go they're not going to start in the worst case senerior is smart. She' just doesn't understand yet because she doesn't know how hard it is being a mom or being in the military yet and naively thinking that her situation didnt just change everything about her life.

jalaz77 jalaz77

She should not serve if she doesn't have a father or a mother to take care of the kid. She should have been responsible. How could you potentially leave a child parentless, it's not like her and the father were in an accident and died. I support our troops but what was she thinking.

nonmember avatar jen

why is this news? This happens ALL the time. It's also not just the air force its every branch!

nonmember avatar Annie

Maybe the military is thinking ahead: what if something happens to the mom while she's deployed? The child is now an orphan. Sounds like a protection plan to me, not discrimination.

Flori... Floridamom96

No, they dismissed her for lying to them which she freely admits she did.

puasa... puasaurusrex

Wasn't it just a couple years ago a single Army mother went AWOL because it turned out that the family she was relying so heavily on to take care of her son while she was overseas told her no? Obviously, it's not outdated and they have very good reasons for being hesitant.

nonmember avatar krelia

She failed to notify her superiors with a change in her medical condition, which just happened to be pregnancy. She broke the rules as well and was punished for it. There is a certain level of trust involved in the military and when you break it, tough luck. Stop whining to media about it with some sob story about you and your baby.

Jespren Jespren

While I completely agree with all of the above, a single parent SHOULD NOT be serving in the military for several reasons. (In fact I had a grandfather that had been declined from duty during WWII because he had 7 kids and with a partially disabled wife was the sole provider for the family) But, I will admit the rule is hypocritical, as they will allow two spouses with children to both be in active duty, which really is the same thing. If both parents are eligible to be called up or moved on a moments notice or if the sole parent is it's the same thing and shouldn't be allowable.

RMB2011 RMB2011

You can't join the military as a single parent. Once you're in yes you can be a single parent. She lied on her contract that is why she was booted.

bills... billsfan1104

Typical blogger that feels entitled.

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