Saturday, January 13, 2007

Staff sgt. relieved of duty after Playboy spread

By Erik Holmes - Staff writer
Posted : Friday Jan 12, 2007 10:23:40 EST
The Air Force Times

Steamy nude photos of an Air Force military training instructor have landed her in hot water, and might just send her trainees running for the newsstands.

Staff Sgt. Michelle Manhart has been relieved of duty as a military training instructor at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, for appearing both in and out of uniform in the February issue of Playboy magazine.

Manhart, 30, said she hopes to pursue a career in entertainment, so the shoot was the opportunity of a lifetime.

“Like most people,” she said, “it’s been a dream since I was a kid. I’ve always wanted to do it. It was incredible.”

The Air Force’s reaction hasn’t been quite as enthusiastic. David Smith, a spokesman for Air Education and Training Command, said Manhart has been relieved of duty “pending an investigation of the circumstances.”

Along with Playboy’s signature nude shots, the six-page pictorial includes staged photos of Manhart, a 12-year veteran, in uniform, yelling at recruits.

“I’ve never mixed my work and home life,” she said. “When I’m not in uniform, I’m myself. When I’m in uniform, I consider myself the Air Force.”

Manhart said she doesn’t think she did anything wrong by appearing in the magazine.

“The military always supports pursuing what you want to do with your life,” she said. “Our new motto is ‘Do something amazing,’ and I consider this something amazing.”

The issue hits newsstands today, so readers will have to judge the photos for themselves. Of course, everyone knows people who buy Playboy do so purely for the articles.