Following incidents of sexual assaults in the US armed forces, US military leaders are ashamed and angry. These incidents have caused top ranking Pentagon officials to ensure that all efforts are taken to prevent such abuses from further occurring. This move came strongly from President Obama who pushed for a legislation to be introduced in Congress in efforts to seek justice for the victims. There were two high profile cases related to sexual assault in the military and were carried out by service members tasked with preventing such crimes.
Obama told reporters that his administration not only treated these acts as criminal acts but also found them shameful and disgraceful to the entire military system. Such acts only served to make the military less effective than it should be and these pose as security threat to the country. A survey found that about 26,000 cases of unwanted sexual contact took place in 2012 alone. This is a 35 percent increase from the estimated figure of 19,300 cases recorded in 2010. What is shocking is that a first class army sergeant posted at the sexual assault prevention unit at Fort Hood, Texas, was accused of sexual assault, abusive sexual contact and so on. Likewise, early in May, an Air Force officer who was tasked with preventing sexual assaults was charged with sexual battery. Upon investigation, he was dismissed from his duties. He was also accused of groping a woman’s buttocks and breasts.
There is a growing concern within the Pentagon that the latest sexual assault cases show that the military is not reliable enough to defend those in high-ranking positions against sexual predators. What this perhaps means is that some elements of preventing sexual assault may need to be taken out of the military’s charge. This is precisely what some lawmakers want as well. They feel that the military system is too consumed by its internal conflicts of interests that it is unable to objectively mete out justice to victims.
Whatever the case, these unprecedented sexual assaults have put pressure on the Pentagon to ensure that the military system exists for what it should do exist for. This pressure has put the Pentagon on the defensive. Spokespersons from the Pentagon reported that the Pentagon is now focused on taking real steps that they believe, in combination with retraining could bring about a change in the military system. Retraining efforts will not necessarily be limited to recruiting officers and those who work with sexual assault victims, but also include other job classifications as well. These actions taken by the Pentagon in collaboration with the Congress is likely to bring about some radical changes given the dip in confidence among people in the military.