The Army’s Commitment To Preventing Sexual Assault

December 11, 2008

In October, I posted a story about the Army’s new Sexual Assault Prevention Program, in which the Army will concentrate on the prevention of this horrific crime. While the Army’s Sexual Assault Response Program remains in place to ensure that victims of sexual assault receive the care they need and are treated with the care and respect that they deserve, the Army feels that responding after the fact to the crime, isn’t enough, thus the creation of the Sexual Assault Prevention Program. This program focuses on what Soldiers can do, to prevent a sexual assault from occurring. One of the things being done is the Sex Signals program. Currently the Sex Signals program is happening at Fort Hood. I’ve had the pleasure of attending several of the shows and am quite impressed with how the subject is being presented to the Troops. Instead of a boring power point briefing, the Soldiers are in the audience of a skit, using very real language and discussing very real scenarios that they might encounter. The skits are designed to have audience participation and I believe it’s made quite an impact on those in attendance.

Recently, headlines across the country have told us about numerous Drill Sergeants in the Army who have been charged with having inappropriate sexual contact with trainees. This isn’t just isolated to one training installation, but involves Drill Sergeants at 15 different installations. When I first read the headlines, I was horrified to think that these Drill Sergeants were using the authority of their jobs in the Army to take advantage of young recruits in a sexual manner. I take that back. I was more than horrified, I was damn pissed off and still am! Dealing with sexual assaults victims on a daily basis in my job, I’m very well aware of the devastating effect this horrific crime can have on the victims for many years to come. In total, on the 15 Army installations, 107 cases of sexual misconduct were filed and resulted in 52 court martial proceedings, as well as many more disciplinary actions.

This type of behavior, by those in authority positions is not acceptable in the Army and will not be tolerated. These particular Soldiers are entrusted to train new Soldiers, they know better and as far as I’m concerned, have no business serving in the Army, where Professional Ethos and Core Values are stressed. They used their positions of authority to victimize trainees at one of the most vulnerable times in their Army careers. Because Army leaders recognize that there is a problem with sexual assaults in the ranks, those in leadership created the new Sexual Assault Prevention Program and announced that there would be ZERO tolerance for Soldiers committing such acts.

I’m very glad to see that the Army is following through and holding these Drill Sergeants accountable for their actions. They’re sending out a loud and clear message to the ranks, that this type of behavior will not be tolerated in any way, shape or form. In this week’s issue of the
Army Times, the names of each Drill Sergeant who was charged, what they were charged with and the outcome of their hearings, are listed. Each and every one of them should be made an example of. I’m pleased that these names are being made public and it shows me that the Army is indeed committed to doing everything possible to eradicate sexual assault in their ranks.


2 Responses to “The Army’s Commitment To Preventing Sexual Assault”

  1. OEF Veteran on December 12th, 2008 5:37 am

    Nothing like letting people be ‘innocent until proven guilty’….

    Hooray for freedom…..Boo for people who are to quick to accuse, convict and sentence without letting the justice system work.

  2. Terri on December 12th, 2008 5:12 pm

    OEF Vet, if you read the article in the Army Times, you’ll see that the persons who’s names are listed in the article HAVE already been found guilty. No names were released until they had their day in court.

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