This story is laid in the years of World War II, when female soldiers first began to enter the American Army in numbers. It involves a training march through open country, with a small detachment of women surrounded by male soldiers, and their tough female sergeant, determined to show her charges as both rugged and proper. No real sex, just a bit of “hold it” and some wetting in a military situation, and on a somewhat mass basis.
* * * * *
The time was the mid-1940’s; the war in both Europe and the Far East was in full swing. America’s military was growing daily, and women in uniform, once a novelty, were in increasing numbers.
Sergeant Dorothy Showalter had the army in her blood. The daughter of a career army officer, she had grown up on military posts, familiar with the military life and ritual, and strangely drawn to it. As a girl, the only women she had seen in uniform were a few army nurses, and she had barely hoped to one day proudly wear her own uniform. In 1942, with the formation of the Women’s Army Corps, her chance had come, and she had signed up when the first call for recruits went out. Now, at 41, with a husband in Europe awaiting the long-expected invasion of the continent, and a brother with the marines in the Far East, she found herself wearing the stripes of a First Sergeant, leading WAC recruits through their early training.
She had charge of a platoon of some forty women, most of them much younger than herself, many fresh from high school or college, and eager for the adventure of military service. “Dot”, as she was known to her friends, had the task of turning these raw recruits into something resembling soldiers. Later they would go to army technical schools where they would learn to become truck drivers, mechanics, radio operators, or one of many other military specialities; but, to Dot, they were raw material to be molded, however harshly, into the tough elements of which victorious armies are made.
She answered her summons to the CO’s office with military crispness, but was soon put at ease by her commander, Capt. Mary McCaulley. “Dot”, she began, in friendly manner, “for tomorrow, your platoon has been chosen to participate in a training exercise which will involve a 24 hour forced march through the west country, about 32 miles total. Two battalions of male soldiers will comprise the bulk of the exercise, but we have been asked to assign a platoon of women to participate. As you know, women are being sent into the overseas theatres in increasing numbers, and are going to be close to combat situations. Frankly, General Early is interested in how women will stand up to rigorous field conditions, and it is up to us to give him a good demonstration. I have selected your platoon because I know you can show him what a group of tough women can do. I will be going along, but I’m to be assigned to the colonel’s staff, so the troops will be in your care. The march will begin at 0300 hours, and I will show you the route on the map. Your group will be trucked to the starting point, so have them lined up, with packs and field equipment, including a day’s rations, at 0230. There will be a few short rest breaks, and one longer break at the Signal Corps station, but they won’t do much sleeping. The trucks will pick them up at 0330 the following morning for return to the barracks.”:
The Captain went over the map and logistical arrangements. Dot absorbed her orders attentively. Mary gave her one final admonition. “Dot, you know there will be hundreds of men and a lot of officers looking at your platoon. They will be looking for any signs of fragility, or what they will consider ‘female weakness’. I expect that they will see none. Got it?” “Got it. Affirmative,” Dot responded. She shook hands with her CO, then departed with a crisp salute.
Dot assembled her charges for their orders. Having them fall out beside their barracks, she gave them a quick inspection, making certain that no one was found without a flaw. There were thirty eight women, with four more on sick call. Dot gave them no rest. “All right, you creeps!” she began, “We’ve pounded soldiering into your heads. You’ve been read the Articles of War and you’d better know your General Orders! Tonight you’ll do some pounding with your feet! You’re to fall out here at 0200 – that’s right, 0200! Fatigues, packs, full canteens, and you’ll be issued field rations. What you need you carry, and what you take out, you bring back! You’re going to march thirty odd miles over rough country, so don’t tell me your feet hurt! Field shoes and extra socks! And if any of you have monthly problems, carry your supplies with you, and bring back the stuff you take off – I’d better never hear that some male soldier had to pick up some smelly used pad that a female left on the landscape! I’m supposed to make soldiers out of the crummy stuff they send here, so you’re going to act like soldiers? Got it?”
Dot barked her instructions in a twenty minute tirade to the assembled recruits, took no questions, and finally casino şirketleri dismissed them to the mess hall, afterwards to clean the barracks, police their area, and soundly sleep until awakened at one thirty in the morning.
The following day, Dot assembled her charges at two A.M., led them through twenty minutes of calisthenics, inspected their dress and equipment, berated them thoroughly over every offense she could imagine they might have committed, and marched them to the waiting trucks. At 2:30, three truckloads of tired, sleepy women were being hauled to the assembly point. Each wore the regulation army olive drab fatigues, pants and jacket, with heavy field shoes over thick socks. Each carried her pack, canteen, and side arms.
Three A.M. They climbed out of the trucks at the assembly point. Capt. McCaulley met them, gave them a quick word of encouragement, then introduced Dot to an officer at her side. “Major Ervin, this is Sgt. Dorothy Showalter. She will be in charge of the WAC platoon.” Turning to Dot, she added, “I will be with the command post – Major Ervin will be your commander for the march. I know you will give him a good show!”
Major Ervin was, at the moment, less than impressed. He quickly informed Dot of his expectations. “Sgt. Showalter, this is a military training exercise. Your group is just like the rest of us. You have been assigned a central position in the line of march – you won’t have to lead, so you won’t go astray; and if you leave any stragglers, the troops in the rear will herd them back to you. I expect no more – and no less – of your women than of any other soldiers. You are expected to keep up, and no concessions. You get the same rest stops as the men. I want to warn you that you have about forty women here among nine hundred men. I expect discipline. I want no unnecessary fraternization. We’re not here for fun. I expect your women to hold their own, and I don’t expect them to distract the men or look for any special favors. Particularly, I expect them to stay in uniform and make no displays of themselves. Is that clear?”
Indeed it was, and Dot repeated the orders, with appropriate emphasis to her 38 recruits. Loudly she commanded them to fall in, and they took up their positions in the pre-dawn darkness.
The column began its movement across the countryside after an appropriate waiting period. At first they marched briskly in cadence, but gradually the formality subsided and they slogged along, but at a quick pace. The stride was set by the men, and some of the women were pushed to keep up. At the first sign of a whimper, Dot passed by the ranks of her troops. “You are soldiers – soldiers, do you hear me? Miserable, poor, inept, and uncouth excuses for soldiers, but still soldiers! Hear me! I don’t want to hear a cry, a whimper, a complaint! I don’t want to hear that anyone’s nose runs or that your butt itches! I don’t want to hear your feet hurt, or that anything else hurts! Every one of you is going to act like you can do this as well as any man in this army; and the first one I see with tears, or crying or complaining, will spend the next few weeks of her army life scrubbing latrines!” Dot had learned well the manner of the drill sergeant. Not a sign of female weakness would escape her eye, or go unpunished.
Dawn broke, and with rising of the sun, the summer heat would soon become apparent. A little after six, word was passed down the column to allow a ten minute break. Dot ordered her group to fall out, and they began to break ranks and wearily take seats on the ground. Men were in front of them, and behind, in fact, all around. Dot allowed a few words of greeting, but beyond that, she saw that the male soldiers kept their distance. She did notice many of the men slipping back a short distance from the column, obviously to relieve themselves, and several did so with their backs to the women. Dot wished they were a bit more modest about this, but the country was largely barren, and there was little cover. She started wondering about her own troops. After all, they had been up now five hours, and for at least four hours she knew none of them had had a bathroom break. Her attention was drawn to this situation when one of her soldiers cautiously approached her, asking “Sergeant, can we go the bathroom -I mean, some of us would like to pee!” Dot really couldn’t figure out how to handle this – there was no place of privacy, men were all over. She had been warned to keep her women “in uniform” and not to distract male soldiers or ask for special treatment. If she asked the men nearby to turn their backs, or move away, she would be accused of demanding special treatment – after all, no one had asked the women to look away when men were answering nature’s call nearby. However, if she just let the women drop their pants and squat, surely someone would complain of the women’s immodesty or find that in relieving themselves, they were a distraction to the men. Dot’s job right now was to prove women were tough. She would. She would casino firmaları also hope for a bit more seclusion at the next rest stop.
Abruptly, Dot gave her answer. “No. Right now you wait. I’ll tell you when you can pee. Until then you hold it!” Dot hardly had to repeat the answer. Most heard it, for she made it loud and clear. Women were tough. They would hold it. To herself, Dot hoped it wouldn’t be for too long.
The march resumed. An hour or so later, they were allowed a short break for breakfast – such as it was, from their field rations. It was getting warmer, Dot noted. Also, there was no shelter, yet. The “no pee” edict remained in force. Although several women asked if they could somehow relieve themselves, there was no open rebellion, no vocal complaint. For the moment, they were compliant.
A new problem was arising. Dot noticed the women were reluctant to drink; many were not opening their canteens, and it was getting warm. Soon it would be hot. They were marching, sweating, and they would be getting dehydrated. One thing she didn’t need was a bunch of women suffering from heat exhaustion, maybe even passing out. This was not going to demonstrate that women were tough soldiers. She gave an order to her group, “All of you! You’ve got to get water in yourselves, or the heat’s going to affect you! I want every one of you to drain at least half of her canteen right now! You can refill from the water bags on the truck later! Drink up! NOW!” Her command was in earnest. The women complied, looking nervously at each other. They couldn’t pee, and now they were being ordered to fill up on water. Things were going to get worse.
The day went on, the column still moving at a fast pace. The women were tiring, and many were getting quite uncomfortable. Dot knew she was receiving urgent signals from her own bladder demanding relief, and she hadn’t found the solution. About half past ten, the women had gone over eight hours without urinating, she reflected. Something would have to give, and something did. She gaped at Ellen, marching in an outside position in the third rank. A dark spot was spreading in her fatigues, and her pants were dripping. Dot grabbed her, demanding “What are you doing?” “I’m sorry, Sergeant,” she replied, “I just couldn’t hold it any longer – I had too!”
“You’re a soldier” snarled Dot to the almost tearful girl. “Stop it! Now! I told you you can pee when you get permission – not before!” Quickly Dot pushed her to an inside position, moving another woman to the outside rank. Then she took the girl’s canteen from her, and inspected it. It was full – she hadn’t been drinking much. “Drink it – all of it – NOW!” Dot noisily commanded, so all the others could hear her. The girl continued to march in place, while chugging down the contents of her canteen. When at length she emptied it, Dot handed her own canteen to the girl, and commanded, “Drink this, too – all of it!” The girl, fearful, finished what was left in Dot’s canteen. Now, with a stomach sloshing with water, she looked tearfully at her sergeant. Dot called to the whole group, “You see what she got? Fortunately for her, with the hot sun, her pants will dry out in a while. Now she’s got enough water in her to give her a bigger problem than she had before! When I say hold it, I mean hold it! You’ll be told when you can relieve yourselves, and don’t try doing it until then!”
Another twenty minutes and Dot spotted her second casualty. Marge, in the rear rank, was trying to conceal what was obviously a leak into her pants. While she appeared not to lose as much as Ellen, she was clearly out of control. Again Dot scolded her severely, moved her position to a less conspicuous location in an inside rank, and commanded her to fill herself from her canteen.
The truck with water bags was not far away, and Dot saw that all of the canteens were refilled. Again, at a rest stop, she ordered the women to drink deeply of the water. She had to keep them from being dried out and subject to heat stroke, even if they got painful bladder problems. Her own bladder was beginning to hurt, having passed to stage of just discomfort. She knew she couldn’t bully the women into holding themselves much longer, and she was trying to think of an acceptable solution, when another emergency became apparent.
She got a quick look at Julie, as she moved up slightly from her rest stop. On her pants could be seen a very noticeable red spot. Dot called her to account, and in her most brusque manner, demanded an explanation. Julie tried to answer softly, greatly embarrassed. ” It’s my period – I need to change my pad, but there’s been no chance – I didn’t mean to make such a mess, but – what can I do?”
Dot quickly had three other women stand around Julie. She was ordered to loosen her fatigue pants just enough to allow her to reach inside and try to do the changes. Much embarrassed, but with the help of two others, she managed a change. The red spot was still much in evidence.
Dot looked at her in apparent güvenilir casino disgust. “You’d better wash those pants out right now! The pants will dry, but you need to wash out that color. Now!”
The girl look incredulous. “Wash it? With what? I ‘ve nothing to use!”
“You’ve got a load of it to use! Pee! Now! In the pants! And don’t tell me you don’t have a full bladder – everyone here does!”
The command was incredible to the others, but Julie complied. Her pants were saturated. The red spot didn’t disappear, but it faded considerably as it washed all over the remainder of her fatigues. A nearby voice called, “Can I do it, too, please?” The plea was met with a thundering “No” from Dot.
Dot knew she was in deep trouble, and she was on the verge of just ordering the women to wet their pants, realizing this would surely make them he laughing stock of the army. As the march resumed, Dot could see the signal station ahead – the intended site of a longer rest stop. A plan was emerging, if she could just force the women to wait a bit longer. She knew what trouble they were in, for her own bladder was stretched to almost unbearable limits. It felt as though the bottom of her stomach had a huge swollen spot with an increasingly severe ache. She secretly admired her women for being able to torture themselves this far.
Another three quarters of an hour saw them arrive the signal station. It wasn’t much, but it served as a landmark. It had several antennas, a small wooden building for communications equipment, and behind it a small barracks building for the small detachment of soldiers assigned here, with a wooden building housing a latrine next to it.
The several hundred men stayed well away from the station, since they had no real business there and it served only as a landmark for the march route. As she had noticed before, the men found other places to relieve themselves, in fact virtually anywhere along the route of the column. “If only to be a man”, Dot thought, realizing what problems women had with what men considered a simple bodily function, easily done almost anywhere outside. “Well, easily done if only in male company”, she thought.
It was arranged that the troops be given a one hour rest break here. The column broke up, as units decomposed into bodies of men sitting and standing along the route of march. Dot was not so easy on her group. “At ease!” she commanded, “For the moment!”, and left her thirty eight women standing in agonized discomfort as she walked a few steps to the station. Quickly she approached a sergeant apparently on duty, and loudly inquired, “Have you got a really dirty, smelly latrine here that needs a good GI treatment? Because I’ve got a bunch of lazy scrubwomen who think the army is place for fun and games, and need a good dose of toilet cleaning while the others rest up! Can you help me?” The sergeant smiled. Not before had he the offer of a female crew to house clean anything in his area. He gestured toward the wooden building housing the small latrine. “Feel free! They’ll find scrub tools inside the door!” He stood back to watch the fun.
Dot returned to her platoon, standing with grimaced faces and squirming bodies. She drew herself up in front of the fatigue-uniformed women, knowing quite well that under each of 38 sets of fatigue pants was an extremely full female bladder.
After addressing her charges with appropriate expletives, loud enough to be heard by many of the men in the area, and rich enough in invective to be worthy of the proverbial drunken sailor, she instructed them, “while the rest of the soldiers here get a short rest, you bunch of no-good lazies will have the privilege of scrubbing out the local latrine, as a gesture of thanks to the local inhabitants who have been blessed with the dubious pleasure of your company! You will proceed to that building, one rank at a time, and take turns cleaning the place until the floor shines and everything therein is bright enough to reflect your disgusting faces! MOVE!”
The first rank of women headed for the building, picking up buckets, scrub brushes, and cleaning rags they found inside the door.
“MOVE” loudly commanded Dot, as the first group entered the building and set to work. The little building was small, just one room, in which were two toilets, two urinals, two sinks, and a shower stall with two shower heads and a drain in the floor. There were no partitions – everything was in the open, true military style. Loud with authority she directed the handing out of cleaning items as the first rank went to work. Then, in a low voice, to the women as they entered, she added “and while you’re scrubbing the place you’ve got a private latrine to accommodate your personal needs, and I suggest you be about it!”
She returned to the remaining ranks outside, and began loudly reciting their numerous flaws and offenses. As she stepped aside momentarily, she encountered the station’s sergeant. “Sarge,” he began, “I don’t know that I’m yet in favor of women in the army, but I hand it to you – you know how to treat recruits! Where did you learn?” “Growing up as an army brat!” Dot returned with a scowl, trying to cover up her own internal torture as her bladder expanded to its very limits.