I work for the Army. In fact, if you read my response to the infrastructure thread you can probably infer which organization.
Yeah, I figured that out almost right away!
Yeah, I was pretty obvious, huh? LOL.
Some of it is overt, but most anymore - on the civilian side anyway - is subtle. Most people KNOW discrimination is illegal and don't do the outright stuff you see in Mad Men, but they don't realize they have sexist attitudes simply because it's the way they were raised and that's what they've been around in the Army. Another for instance, a few weeks ago my supervisor mentioned he needed to change his beneficiary allocations (in case of death) so that his daughter was 2nd behind his wife. When I asked why his daughter would be second instead of equally split with his son, his response was, "Well, she could marry a bum and she'll need her own money." I didn't say anything, but my thought is, "Ummm, teach her to stay in school and get a good education and she won't need YOUR money either."
I have been following the story of the AF woman with interest. She's having to pay back $92k for her nursing school. And you're correct, no man (to my knowledge) has been kicked out for being a single dad. From what I understand, they still offer pregnant (married) women the option to opt out early of their enlistments when they get pregnant. Whether mandatory or voluntary, I disagree with it entirely.
Civilians do have some rights, but you have to choose your battles. You can get a reputation as a troublemaker pretty quickly that will ruin career chances just the same. In each instance I encounter, I apply the "hill to die on" litmus test. As in, is this issue the hill I'm willing to die on? In the Afghanistan situation, I was able to apply for (and recieved) a promotion back state-side, so I didn't pursue it. Wasn't the hill to die on, mainly because I created other options. When they tried to move me into a secretary position, I was ready to lay down on the wire for that one. Now I'm at the point where I need to decide how much energy and effort I want to spend on breaking through to the next level. Stinks, because I love what I do and (I say this with no arrogance) I'm good at it. It's a calling for me. I guess I'll see what life has in store.