Network television shows on military subjects seldom lead the charge when it comes to accurately portraying the subject matter on which said shows are based.
And that’s fine. Audience members should never expect to attain a firm, gospel-like grasp of military culture based on shows scheduled adjacent to series like “God Friended Me” or “Hawaii Five-0.”
Such tempered expectations should likewise be extended to CBS’ “The Code,” a show about “the professional and personal lives of some of the military’s brightest legal minds in the courtroom, where each attorney is trained as a prosecutor, a defense lawyer, an investigator — and a Marine,” according to the show’s IMDB page.
Since its debut, veterans have been quick to point out minor inaccuracies, such as ribbon placement or the apparent scarcity of qualified barbers in the region — harmless slip-ups.
But on Tuesday, a tweet from the show’s official Twitter account riled the masses for coming off as questioning basic capabilities of women in the Corps.
“Can Lt. Harper Li balance her duties to the Corps with planning her wedding?” the tweet read. “Find out in the latest episode of #TheCode.”
The tweet, screenshot below, has since been deleted.
Less than two years ago, 1st Lt. Marina A. Hierl became the first woman to complete the Marine Corps’ Infantry Officer Course — before moving on to lead an infantry platoon of men.
Across services, more women are integrating into combat arms jobs than ever before, but how on earth could a woman possibly balance duties as an officer and a wedding planner?
Tune in for the riveting answer!
While this tweet is a solitary example from a single source, the sentiment reflected is emblematic of a greater cultural issue.
Many questions remain, for example, about whether the Marine Corps has done its due diligence to break down barriers that have long deterred the progress of women in its ranks.
Jackie Huber, a career Marine from 1984–2004, recently discussed the diminishment women routinely encounter in the military during an interview with the Free Lance Star of Fredericksburg, Virginia.
“We were treated like second-class citizens, and we had few rights and fewer advocates,” she said.
“That’s why I didn’t want anyone to know what I had done. I didn’t wanted to be treated like that anymore.”
Recognizing this sentiment in the show’s tweet, the masses quickly rallied:
For everyone’s sake, let’s hope “The Code” keeps its list of ill advised military representations restricted to insignificant uniform or hair cut blunders.
J.D. Simkins is a writer and editor for Military Times, and a USMC veteran.