Target: Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel
Goal: End sexual assaults within the military
The U.S. military has recently implemented a new plan in an attempt to decrease the number of sexual assaults that occur between military personnel. A Pentagon report released in May 2013 estimates that as many as 26,000 service members may have been sexually assaulted in 2012. The head of the Army has called sexual assault within the military a “cancer” that is spreading, threatening to destroy the organization. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said the problem threatens to undermine the troops’ effectiveness in carrying out missions.
In response to this troubling information, each branch of the military is employing measures to end sexual assault. The military is making every effort to project a zero-tolerance message and crack down on alcohol consumption, which they believe is a large contributing factor. Some bases have also implemented a 9 p.m. curfew in addition to alcohol monitoring. Nightly patrol units police military bases at night in an effort to control excessive drinking and reckless behavior. Hagel has given all commanders the order to inspect workspaces to ensure they are free of degrading material, and requires military leaders to hold officers accountable for the work environment.
Recently, a boot-camp-like sexual assault prevention training was required of all military personnel in which they were educated on the definition of sexual assault and what to do to prevent an assault from occurring. The military is also incorporating sexual assault prevention into basic training for all incoming military personnel. Support the military’s efforts to prevent sexual assault within military branches.
Dear Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel,
Thank you for taking the issue of sexual assault within the military seriously, and taking necessary steps to stop this terrible epidemic. A recent survey from the Pentagon has estimated that 26,000 military personnel were sexually assaulted last year alone. This problem is becoming increasingly serious, and publicly discussed. I commend you for implementing programs like sexual assault prevention trainings, curfews, and alcohol monitoring to begin remedying this devastating problem.
Please continue to take measures to prevent this serious problem from continuing. Train all incoming military personnel on the dangers of sexual assault and the military’s zero-tolerance attitude toward it, as well as the serious consequences that will ensue if one chooses to sexually assault another person. Always have night monitors in every branch of the military to offer a leadership presence even during downtime, to look out for signs of situations that could lead to an assault. This is just the beginning of a fight to change the culture of the military, so please persevere and continue to push against sexual assault.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Brian Schlumbohm/Fort Wainwright Public Affairs Office via Flickr