Tuesday, July 9, 2013

After 2 decades of sexual assault in military, no real change in message

After 2 decades of sexual assault in military, no real change in message
Stars and Stripes
By Nancy Montgomery
Published: July 7, 2013

The nation’s top military officers told Congress last month that the chain of command was crucial to curbing sexual assault in the services. The message is not a new one; they have been saying the same thing for nearly two decades -- sometimes using remarkably similar language.

“The success of our missions depends in large measure on the degree of trust and understanding that exists among the people in our units,” then Air Force Secretary Sheila Widnall told the Senate Armed Services Committee in 1997 in a hearing on sexual harassment. “Anything that might erode that trust is just not tolerable. We will maintain it, and we will enforce it. We will ensure that our people are treated with the human respect and dignity that they deserve.”

Sixteen years later, Army Chief of Staff Ray Odierno seemed to be reading from the same set of notes.

“Our profession is built on the bedrock of trust — the trust that must inherently exist among soldiers, and between soldiers and their leaders to accomplish their mission,” Odierno said at a June 4 hearing on sexual assault. “These acts … will not be tolerated. This is about inculcating a culture that is in line with our values, specifically treating all with dignity and respect.”

In 1997, Widnall told the senators that commanders were key in ending sexual harassment.

“The most effective way of ensuring accountability in military organizations is to give commanders the direct responsibility …,” she said. “Commanders’ demonstrated leadership and personal commitment … must be visible and unequivocal.”
read more here

No comments:

Post a Comment

If it is not helpful, do not be hurtful. Spam removed so do not try putting up free ad.