READOUT OF SEXUAL ASSAULT BRIEFING BEFORE MILITARY PERSONNEL SUBCOMMITTEE
WASHINGTON – Today, the Military Personnel Subcommittee received a briefing from the U.S. Army on actions taken following recent allegations of Drill Instructor sexual misconduct at Fort Benning. Members heard from officials representing the U.S. Army Center for Initial Military Training and the United States Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps.
Following the briefing, Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO), Chairman of the Subcommittee said, “I am appalled by the troubling allegations of sexual assault and sexual misconduct involving Army drill sergeants. Drill sergeants are entrusted with the sacred duty of transforming civilians into disciplined and proficient Soldiers. The possibility that certain individuals would abuse their positions of trust in order to take advantage of trainees is unfathomable. I expect the Army to thoroughly investigate these serious allegations and take appropriate action against anyone who is found to have violated the law.”
“Today, the Military Personnel Subcommittee received a briefing from the Army on the policies in place to prevent trainer/trainee abuse and sexual assault in the military. While I am encouraged by the work that has been done so far, this briefing made clear that the Services must do more.”
“This year, the Subcommittee has held multiple briefings and hearings regarding sexual misconduct in the military. As in years past, the House-passed FY 18 National Defense Authorization Act contains several additional tools to strengthen the military’s response to sexual assault. However, all of these improvements are useless without continued emphasis and personal involvement from military commanders. I understand that the battalion commander in this case has already been relieved. This action sends an important message that must be heeded by all Services: If commanders are unable or unwilling to offer the sustained personal engagement this issue requires, perhaps it is time to hold them accountable as well. The Military Personnel Subcommittee intends to continue its robust oversight to ensure commanders are doing everything they can to keep servicemembers safe.”