Recent stories about sexual assault in the military

New policy moves some Army sexual harassment investigations outside the chain of command

A report of sexual harassment from a soldier under Army Forces Command now will be investigated by an officer outside of that soldier’s brigade, according to a new policy from the command.

White Ribbon campaign

VA secretary pledges zero tolerance for sexual harassment, assault

The pledge was part of the White Ribbon campaign, a worldwide movement that asks men and boys to help end gender-based violence and promote gender equity.

Think tank report reveals steady uptick in military personnel involved in terrorist attacks, plots

Military personnel have been increasingly involved in domestic terrorist plots and attacks during the last three years, according to a report released Monday by the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington-based think tank.

With sexual assault numbers in military rising, some want change in prosecuting system

It's unclear whether proposals that would give specialized military prosecutors, rather than unit commanders, the power to decide which alleged sexual assaults are subject to military trial will muster enough votes to pass in Congress.

Navy punishes author of letter that disparaged enlisted sailors at base in Japan

Media reports said Yokosuka Naval Hospital determined that Lt. Nathanael Allison wrote the letter, in which he complained of being forced to live with his family in a building for enlisted families, that drew controversy on social media.

Naval Academy midshipman imprisoned after guilty conviction for child pornography

A Naval Academy midshipman was sentenced to 20 months in Naval prison and dismissed from the Naval Academy after being found guilty of child pornography possession.

The assault of a president's son led to creation of US Capitol Police

It began with a single watchman hired to safeguard the new Capitol building in the country's new capital in 1800. John Golding was the first member of what eventually became the U.S. Capitol Police, a force that grew to 2,300 officers over the course of the next two centuries.

Sexual assault allegations at Fort Sill draw Oklahoma lawmakers' concerns

Sen. Jim Inhofe, the top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, "has been briefed on the situation and has been assured that the base and the Army are taking the necessary action," according to a spokesperson.

Fort Sill military instructors suspended after a soldier in training reports sexual assault

Officials declined to say exactly what day the soldier said the assault occurred, in what capacity the training personnel might have been involved or exactly how many personnel have been suspended because of the assault.

Sexual misconduct allegations against top commanders rock Canada's military

The crisis deepened this week after the Department of Defense said that Vice Adm. Haydn Edmundson, the military officer in charge of human resources, had been placed on indefinite leave while the military police investigate allegations of sexual misconduct by him several decades ago.

Fort Hood-based brigade commander under investigation after allegations of toxic leadership, flouting coronavirus rules

Col. Michael Schoenfeldt, who led the 1st Armored Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, until he departed Germany for Texas in February, faces numerous allegations by subordinate officers related to what they described as a bullying leadership style.

Girlfriend of Fort Hood soldier suspected in Vanessa Guillen death seeks to toss confession

Cecily Ann Aguilar is charged with conspiracy to tamper with Guillen's body, tampering with Guillen's body and hiding it near the river, according to the defense motion filed Wednesday.

Mildenhall airman sentenced to prison time for possessing child pornography

An airman who participated in child pornography chat rooms and collected thousands of illegal pornographic files was sentenced to nine years in prison after being found guilty of related charges at a court-martial Thursday.

Fast take: 'Zero tolerance means absolutely nothing in the military'

Military Matters talks with Army veteran and founder of the Our Sister's Keeper Movement Katie Chorbak about why she believes the DOD doesn't actually punish sexual predators, about how the "zero tolerance" policy repeatedly has been ignored and about the current status of the #iamvanessaguillen bill.

Sen. Gillibrand: No progress combating sex assault in the military shows need for major reform

Senators on Wednesday focused on sexual assault in the military during the hearing, which had three panels featuring survivors of sexual assault and those who advocate on their behalf and those who study the problem for the government, nonprofits or for academic research.

Veterans, civilian advocates bring expertise to Pentagon’s commission on military sexual assault

Military veterans and experts on violence against women are among the 12 new members of the Pentagon’s Independent Review Commission on Sexual Assault in the Military, the organization’s chairwoman announced Wednesday.


Women say significant barriers remain for pregnant troops

Despite expressions of support, female service members continue to face an array of challenges, including underrepresentation at the military's highest levels; widespread sexual harassment and abuse; and pregnancy-related career impediments.

Beyond Fort Hood: How Fort Bliss has taken lessons from its neighbor to combat sexual assault

Since taking over as commander of the 1st Armored Division and Fort Bliss in September, Maj. Gen. Sean Bernabe has worked to implement what he calls “positive disruption” of the installation's current practices of addressing and preventing sexual assault.

Groups offer House lawmakers new ways to improve care for female veterans

After leaving the military, Stephanie Gattas was homeless and suffered from mental illnesses, such as PTSD. She struggled to find resources to help, the Navy veteran told House lawmakers.

Sexual misconduct allegations against top commanders rock Canada's military

The allegations against Canada's most senior military officers — the equivalent of the U.S. chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff — are being investigated by a parliamentary committee and the military police.

Episode 6: The continuing problem of sexual assault and harassment in the military

This week's episode of Military Matters looks at this longstanding problem, including a discussion with a soldier who recounts her own story of sexual assault.

Wisconsin judge faces seven counts of possessing child pornography

A Milwaukee County judge was charged Wednesday with seven counts of possessing child pornography, which included graphic videos depicting the sexual assaults of children.

Army investigators short on tangible improvements in wake of Fort Hood report

Proposals from the Fort Hood Independent Review Committee’s report included improving staffing and resources at the base, leveling the ratio of new and experienced agents, and building better relationships with the surrounding civilian communities.

Pelosi questions Cuomo’s future and urges him to ‘look inside’

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi urged New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to “look inside his heart” and ask whether he can still do his job after other top Democrats demanded he resign over allegations of sexual assault and harassment.

Former Scott Air Force Base firefighter sentenced to prison for distribution of child porn

Jace A. Faugno was a senior airman stationed at Scott Air Force Base when he was accused of emailing child pornography to undercover investigators in 2018.

Army must make progress preventing sexual assault or risk civilian intervention, service secretary says

Legislation is looming in Congress that will change the ability of military leaders to oversee cases and could bring “unwarranted consequences,” acting Army Secretary John Whitley said Thursday.

Trust in the military is declining, while its reputation remains high, according to new survey

People who said they have a “great deal of trust and confidence” in the military dropped from 70% in 2018 to 56% in 2021, according to a new survey released this week by the Ronald Reagan Institute.

Crime prevention measures, sexual assault training part of changes sparked by Fort Hood report

A new law enforcement liaison, revised sexual assault prevention training and a crime survey for residents are some of the ways that leaders at Fort Hood have begun to address conditions at the base blamed for enabling crime and endangering soldiers.

Racial slurs are common at Virginia Military Institute, investigators are told

Virginia Military Institute students and graduates have told investigators that "it is and was a common experience to hear racial slurs among VMI cadets, including use of the n-word" over the past 25 years, according to an interim report issued Monday night by the law firm examining racism at the school.

White House focuses on two female military officers during International Women’s Day event

Two female military officers who have been nominated to lead four-star commands were recognized Monday during a White House event in recognition of International Women’s Day.


Journalists look to Germany for justice in Khashoggi killing

From the genocide of Iraq's Yazidis to Syrian state-sponsored torture and the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul, the German legal system is increasingly a place to seek justice for crimes committed far outside Germany's borders.

Austin calls on DOD workforce to reaffirm values, ethical conduct

The memo comes during a time when the Defense Department is reviewing and examining issues related to the culture and character among the force.

Independent commission to examine all options in combating sexual assaults in the military

The new commission’s top focus will be holding rapists accountable — but the group will also look at climate, culture, and prevention in the military.

Annual service academies report finds coronavirus pandemic resulted in a drop in sexual assault reports

The three military service academies had less reports of sexual assault and sexual harassment in the 2019-2020 school year after students transitioned to online classes at home due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to a Pentagon report released Thursday.

Marine from viral video on military sex crimes says her perpetrator was a platoon sergeant and victim advocate

After a video by a Marine identified only as Dalina detailing her experience with sexual assault in the military went viral, she has since met with her chain of command and was given “advocacy and support resources,” according to a military spokesperson.

Kadena airman pleads guilty to recording, distributing lewd video without subject's consent

Senior Airman Dante Torello of the 353rd Special Operations Group was sentenced to four months in military confinement, a bad conduct discharge and reduction in rank to airman basic, the lowest enlisted rank in the Air Force.

Most reports by civilians of sexual assault go unrecorded in Defense Department database

Pentagon data does not include statistics on sexual harassment and assault for most of the civilian workforce.

Marine posts video attacking military’s handling of her sexual assault

A female Marine posted a video online Thursday lashing out at a general who intervened to stop the ouster of another Marine she accused of sexual assault and bringing renewed attention to military oversight and decision-making in these cases.

Seven soldiers to present their ideas on improving the Army’s program targeting sexual assault

Seven soldiers have been chosen to present their ideas next week as part of the Army’s 18th Airborne Corps’ attempt to find solutions for eliminating sexual assault and harassment in the service, the corps announced Thursday.

Suspended Army War College commandant faces sexual assault investigation

The commandant of the Army War College was suspended last week over allegations of sexual assault, Pentagon officials said Thursday.

Presiding officer issues report in Air Force general's sexual assault case

A senior officer who presided over an Article 32 hearing weighing sexual assault charges against a former commander of Air Force Research Laboratory has issued his report and recommendation on how the case should proceed.

After the FBI warned about far-right attacks, agents arrested a leftist ex-soldier

As a far-right extremist movement wages an assault on American government and institutions, experts say an unpredictable battle is brewing, fueling potentially legitimate threats of violence from the opposite fringe of the political spectrum.

McConville says conditions at Fort Hood are imperfect but improving

Soldiers at Fort Hood recommended to Army Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville on Wednesday that they would benefit from training on how to hold discussions about rooting out extremism in the ranks.

Fort Hood’s 3rd Cavalry Regiment focuses on individual training as leaders build trust with soldiers

Soldiers of the 3rd Cavalry Regiment will spend the majority of 2021 training individually and with their squads as the Fort Hood unit regroups from incidents last year highlighted in a recent review of the base culture and climate.

Pentagon cannot track sexual misconduct reports filed by its civilians, GAO finds

The Defense Department has no ability to track exactly how many workplace sexual assaults are reported by its civilian population, according to a new Government Accountability Agency report published amid the military’s high-profile fight against sexual misbehavior among its troops.

Biden making his first visit to the Pentagon as commander in chief

President Joe Biden planned to meet Wednesday with senior civilian and military leaders and address the Pentagon workforce.

He was locked up for supporting Islamist terrorism before turning his life around

"Terrorist." That's what the boys whispered after he stood up and introduced himself to his ninth-grade class. Soft enough that the teacher couldn't hear, loud enough to sting. Mohammed Khalid didn't respond. He simmered inside.


Military struggles to determine how many extremists are in the ranks

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin faces an early test as he races to advance a major initiative targeting far-right extremism in the ranks, a challenge that officials acknowledge is complicated by the Pentagon's lack of clarity on the extent of the threat following the U.S. Capitol riot.

Senate confirms Hicks as first woman to serve as Pentagon’s No. 2 civilian

Kathleen Hicks will become the first woman to serve as the Pentagon’s No. 2 ranking civilian after the Senate confirmed her late Monday as deputy defense secretary.

Army’s 18th Airborne Corps is looking for soldiers' ideas to curb sexual assault and harassment

The Army’s 18th Airborne Corps wants soldiers to pitch ideas for improving the service's sexual assault and harassment prevention program that they believe would better address the long-standing problem within its ranks, the corps announced Monday.

By STARS AND STRIPES Published: May 8, 2013