Thursday, June 6, 2013

increasing accountability on sexual assault in U.S. military

Because I was a whistleblower about misconduct at Navy Recruiting District Chicago and in Navy Recruiting Command I have significant experience of the limitation of the inspector general system.

On July 3, 1996, I contacted the Department of Defense Inspector General who gave my complaints to the Navy Inspector General. It was passed down the chain of command to Navy Recruiting Command. Since part of my allegation was misconduct/negligence by the Navy Recruiting Command Inspector General, a separate O-6 was assigned to investigate the misconduct by three other O-6s and an E-9 (among others) within Navy Recruiting Command.

There is an approach to sexual assault in the military that will provide ongoing pressure for the system to improve and maintain commander discretion for the military. Democracy Now:
Top military leaders appeared before the Senate on Tuesday to refuse calls for independent oversight of sexual assault in the armed forces. The military has faced renewed calls to remove oversight from the chain of command following a report showing around 26,000 sex crimes within the ranks last year.
The military considers commander discretion on disciplinary matters essential to military culture.

Call the approach "oversight and accountability for sexual assault".

  1. If an individual reports sexual assault or sexual harassment to the command, the default will be to be report the incident to an office within DOD IG. This is not a big change in policy since Admiral Mike Boorda enacted mandatory reporting when he was Chief of Naval Operations.
  2. DOD IG will track the resolution the cases.
  3. DOD IG will survey the complainants to see if they are satisfied with the resolution.
  4. When servicemembers and officers are transferred they will be surveyed anonymously about sexual assault and sexual harassment at the commands they are leaving.
  5. DOD will report to Congress annually on the data collected.
  6. When officers are submitted to Congress for promotion to flag ranks, Congress will have access to the data on commands where the officers were either commanders, chief of staff or executive officer.

The military is going to complain about anonymous surveys, but the fallback could be to make the surveys not anonymous and have them submitted three months after transfer. The former admin officer in me makes me think this would be a headache for the gaining command admin/personnel officer.