The Army Will Be The Role Model In Fight Against Sexual Assault

October 19, 2008

On October 6th, Army Secretary Pete Geren made a speech to the AUSA(Association of the United States Army) Annual Meeting that was held in Arlington, Va. In his speech, he noted many accomplishments that the Army has made over the years of it’s existence. He did however strongly denounce the high rate of Sexual Assaults that is occurring within the ranks of the Army. He announced that the Army will create an environment of zero tolerance for sexual assault.

While the majority of Geren’s speech focused on the achievements of the Army over the years, he was quick to strongly condemn the poor record the Army has on sexual assaults. According to Geren, the numbers of sexual assaults in the Army are twice as high as those in any other branch of service.

“We are short of becoming the band of brothers and sisters, they should be,” Geren noted.1

Since September 11, 2001, 1,800 soldiers in the Army have been punished for sexual assault on a fellow Soldier. To Geren, that characterizes only one thing, ‘an Army at war with its self … blue on blue,’ which is the term that is used for combat fratricide.

“Sexual assault is a crime everywhere, but blue on blue is much more,” he said. “It’s an assault on the core values of every American Soldier.”2

Geren gave an example of what he feels the Army should look like, when he spoke about PFC Margaret Brown. Brown is an Army medic who shielded wounded Soldiers with her own body from enemy fire. She was awarded with a Silver Star for repeatedly disregarding her own safety to protect others.

“It is in this context we will attack this enemy within our own ranks and affirm the duty of every Soldier to protect fellow Soldiers,” he said. “In the Army, there is no bystander … Every Soldier is his brother’s and sister’s keeper.”3

The Army has recently launched several campaigns to combat sexual assault within it’s ranks, including the I A.M. STRONG campaign, which I’ve previously written about. After having previously noted the Army’s achievements in eliminating discrimination for instance among it’s ranks, Geren vowed to do the same in regards to Sexual Assault.

“This year we’re recommitted to do the same in regards to gender. We are committed to eradicating sexual harassment and sexual assault from the life of our Army. And, as with equal opportunity, we will become the model for sexual assault prevention in our Nation. And we will succeed because of Army Values. The brothers and sisters of our Army must be able to count on each other, wherever they are, in the battlefield or in the barracks and whenever, on duty or off, no matter the cost.”

“We will create in this effort, Army values will lead us to our goal. Strip away everything else about our Army, at it’s core, Soldiers take care of Soldiers. That’s what Soldiers do.”4

Sexual Assault is a crime that permeates all of American Society. It’s a henous crime, that is brutal and leaves many victims in it’s wake, the actual victim, but also their family and friends. Sexual Assault occurs in all facets of society, from the very poor neighborhoods to the very elite and upscale neighborhoods. All of America needs to stand up and say “No More!” No more will we allow these depraved predators to victimize us. Instead, we will do everything in our power to bring these people to justice and make sure they are punished to the maximum extent of the law. Not only is sexual assault against all the core values of the military, but it is also against all human decency and should not be tolerated in our country.

  1.—address-to-the-2008-ausaannual-meeting-and-exposition—october-6-2008/index.html []
  2.—address-to-the-2008-ausaannual-meeting-and-exposition—october-6-2008/index.html []
  3.—address-to-the-2008-ausaannual-meeting-and-exposition—october-6-2008/index.html []
  4.—address-to-the-2008-ausaannual-meeting-and-exposition—october-6-2008/index.html []


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