Shanahan Issues Directive for Ending of Military Sexual Assaults Gillibrand Expresses Frustration

first_imgActing Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan issued a sharp memo to top Pentagon commanders Wednesday calling for an end to sexual assault and harassment in the military, Politico reported.“To put it bluntly, we are not performing to the standards and expectations we have for ourselves or for each other,” Shanahan wrote. “This is unacceptable.”The memo included a call to make sexual harassment a stand-alone military crime.A biennial survey of military personnel issued Thursday documented 20,500 incidents of unwanted sexual contact in 2018, an increase over 2016. Enlisted female troops aged 17-24 were at the highest risk of assault, according to a USA Today report.The problem has been a focus for Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), a presidential contender, and Sen. Martha McSally (R-Ariz.), who announced this spring she had been raped in the Air Force.During a Senate Armed Services Committee confirmation hearing for Army Chief of Staff Nominee Gen. James McConville, Gillebrand bristled about the new survey results, The Hill reported.“I am tired of excuses,” Gillibrand said. “I am tired of statements from commanders that say, ‘zero tolerance.’ I am tired of the statement I get over and over from the chain of command: ‘We got this, ma’am. We got this.’ You don’t have it. You’re failing us.”Army photo by Senior Airman Christopher Muncy ADC AUTHORlast_img

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