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Playboy-Posing Sergeant Demoted

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Michelle Manhart poses with the February issue of Playboy magazine in San Antonio, Thursday, Jan. 11, 2007.
AP
An Air Force drill sergeant and former Iowa National Guard member who posed nude for Playboy magazine has been removed from active duty, she and the Air Force said Wednesday.

Michelle Manhart, who appeared in a six-page spread in Playboy's February issue, said she got word Friday that she was removed from "extended active duty" and was also told that she was demoted from staff sergeant to senior airman.

"I'm disappointed in our system," Manhart told The Associated Press on Wednesday. "They went too far with it."

Manhart said that she was reverted to her Air National Guard status and that she submitted a "resignation" to the Guard, which she said is pending. Manhart was a member of the Iowa Air National Guard before going on extended active duty.

Oscar Balladares, a spokesman for Lackland Air Force Base, confirmed that Manhart was removed from extended active duty Friday but said Lackland did not discharge her.

"She was removed from active duty status, and thus reverted to National Guard status," Balladares said. "It is not up to the Air Force — it is not our jurisdiction to discharge her."

Lt. Col. Greg Hapgood, a spokesman for the Iowa National Guard, said that because the Guard did not have "documentation of her separation" from the Air Force, it did not have her on duty status.

Manhart, a 30-year-old mother of two, said the military's action against her hinged on the fact that she was pictured wearing her uniform.

She was photographed in uniform yelling and holding weapons under the headline "Tough Love." The following pages showed her partially clothed wearing dog tags and fully nude. After the pictorial hit newsstands in January, Manhart was relieved of her duties pending an investigation.