SSgt. Michelle Manhart (formerly known as Michelle Cross Manhart)
October 20, 1976 |
|Allegiance||United States of America|
|Service/branch||United States Air Force|
|Years of service||1994–2008|
|Unit||323rd Training Squadron|
Michelle D. Manhart (born October 20, 1976) is a former United States Air Force Military Training Instructor who was based at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas, and held the rank of Staff Sergeant. In January 2007 she was relieved of duty and placed under investigation for posing nude in Playboy magazine. She was subsequently demoted to Senior Airman, a move which caused her to resign from the Air Force.
Manhart, a California native, joined the Air Force in 1994, and is married with two children. When her husband was assigned to Waterloo, Iowa as an Air Force recruiter, she transferred to the Iowa Air National Guard. After the September 11, 2001 attacks she was recalled to active duty, and spent time deployed to Kuwait in 2002.
She was photographed for Playboy's February 2007 issue in uniform, partially clothed and completely nude. According to the Lackland AFB spokesman, such actions do not meet the high standards of expected of airmen nor the Air Force's core values.
Reference to Manhart's case appears in an academic article authored by Major Kelly L. McGovern in the March 2008 issue of The Army Lawyer. To quote, "Former Air Force Training Instructor Sergeant Michelle Manhart posed in and out of uniform for the February 2007 edition of Playboy magazine. Photos included Manhart in uniform yelling and holding weapons under the headline, 'Tough Love'. On the subsequent pages, Manhart appeared 'partially clothed, wearing her dog tags while working out, as well as completely nude.' The pictures hit the stands in January 2007, and the Air Force immediately relieved her of her duties pending an investigation. The Air Force then took administrative action against Manhart. She received a letter of reprimand for violating the uniform regulation and discrediting the armed forces. The Air Force also administratively demoted Manhart from staff sergeant to senior airman. In February, she was voluntarily discharged from the Air Force citing reasons of personal convenience."
According to Playboy publicist Theresa Hennessey, two other active-duty servicewomen (both from the United States Navy) appeared in Playboy, Lieutenant Frederica Spilman in the June 1998 issue and IT2 Sherry Lynne White in the September 2000 issue. (White was discharged a few months prior to the end of her enlistment, Spilman was honorably discharged.) Seven women were featured in a "Women of the Armed Forces" pictorial in the April 1980 issue.
In addition to Playboy's February 2007 issue, Manhart has appeared on the covers of Playboy Mexico, Japan and Western Europe and in 2007 announced the new international spokesmodel for the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals’ “I'd Rather Go Naked Than Wear Fur” campaign. She is also on the cover of a 2008 pin-up style calendar, published by Operation Calendar, featuring models in body paint.