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DOD Task Force to Address Military Sexual Assaults

Acting Defense Secretary Patrick M. Shanahan released a memorandum to all of the military services announcing the establishment of a Sexual Assault Accountability and Investigation Task Force.

Why a Task Force is Needed

“Sexual assault impacts the entire force. … None of us are immune to this crime, and all of us are responsible,” Shanahan said in the memo. “I am resolved that we will do all we can … to address sexual assault in our military.”

The acting secretary noted that “the results of the 2018 Report on Sexual Assault and Harassment in the military academies are unacceptable.”

What the Task Force Will Do

The task force “will review and make recommendations that will improve existing processes to address sexual assault, while ensuring our formations, our communities, the rights of the victim and the accused, and the integrity of the legal process are protected,” Shanahan wrote.

The Defense Department will take a holistic approach to eliminate sexual assault, he said, which includes efforts to prevent sexual assaults, support and care for victims, and ensure a robust and comprehensive military justice process.

While the immediate focus of the task force “will be on reforms and improvements to the military justice process,” Shanahan said, “the [DOD] will continue its steadfast efforts to prevent this crime and support our victims.”

Importance of Stamping Out Sexual Assault

“The importance of this work cannot be overstated,” the acting secretary wrote.

“We have an opportunity to underscore the integrity of our military justice system and advance our capability to address sexual misconduct against the men and women of our armed forces, while improving the readiness and lethality of the DOD,” he said. “Only through diligence and innovation will we eliminate this reprehensible crime from our ranks.”


Source: Department of Defense

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One Comment

  1. “Sexual assault impacts the entire force. … all of us are responsible,” Shanahan said in the memo.

    No sir, we are not. The vast and overwhelming majority of military personnel who wore a uniform for 20 or 30 years never raped or assaulted ANYBODY nor tolerated it by others. We watched careers be curtailed or ended from consensual relationships as well as from simple, unproven claims with zero evidence from angry subordinates or peers. Don’t like your NCOER or OER? Just say that the rater made a pass at you in return for a more positive counseling. They teach ‘quid pro quo’- and the requirements for zero actual evidence- to basic trainees. You can claim to have overheard somebody talking to somebody else in a way that made you feel “uncomfortable” and bam- sexual assault and/or harassment investigation to follow. Didn’t make E8 or O5 in less than 10 years? Play the sex card any way you want, and double down if you can back it up with a race card as well.

    As in all of human society, there are exceptions and crimes committed, but sexual assault is NOT an institutionally or culturally accepted practice at any level of the DoD. Stop acting like it is.

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