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Defense Secretary hagel today ordered the military to retrain anyone involved in programs.
Designed to prevent sexual assault.
This after two military officials in charge of preventing sexual assaults were arrested for precisely about.
Joining us now is a new -- velocity.
Retired marine captain executive director of the service women's action network.
Good to have you with -- we appreciate.
This has become.
A damn epidemic it is an embarrassment -- is an outrage.
-- and the president.
Says he wants it fixed.
What took so long and why is this in -- command.
Like a branch of the military why is -- -- top does stop it.
You know I actually think we have.
Very simple solutions to fix this problem and and I I hesitate to use or epidemic because up -- them it's just we can't fix it at that it's out of control.
We just need the political -- to it to it implement the solutions we have on the table right now.
Military criminal justice to system is is 250 years old it's completely out of touch with the realities of today's military which part.
That the issue of commanding officers being in charge of of criminal cases does not need to be in place in other words in the civilian system we've got the most qualified people.
Determining what cases go forward to trial and those are attorneys and judges -- and are you.
I need to do this I sometimes I think we have the worst people involved in this Justice Department Turkish cases take for ever.
I -- -- Specter of the moment.
Good military order -- serve the nation very well.
I also understand the problem when we have a very.
Just throw throw -- A court martial decision.
Aside it's -- -- era and and the civilian criminal justice system is far from perfect don't get me wrong but good that we got -- -- this military is even further behind because we don't have lawyers and judges in charge of this process.
And victims continue to tell us every single day but there's bias in the system -- -- -- 6000 service members.
Say that -- been sexually assault a -- that's according to the department of fat so it's it's the Pentagon's.
-- those are projections who we know the cases.
I'm not to just under -- 3800.
Just a little closer to 3000 and that's been consistent for several years but regardless of the vast majority of service members under report so how -- you get to what what set aside.
What let's leave aside.
A court of justice right now.
How do you get to the command structure itself and say this is my god it's not gonna content.
-- we can't satisfy the criminal justice well that there's actually -- -- I'm not just recant because what I'm really talking about here is the way in which.
-- to be the Marine Corps or whether -- the air force rivers may be.
If our defense leadership cannot -- if our general officers cannot lead.
What are we -- Well they're doing a phenomenal job and several other areas just accordingly the fund should I -- -- -- Graham RX pro tennis.
Not an -- well that's what we're talking about there are not par but nobody supports the military more -- -- -- you.
No one's more embarrassed that this is a kind of thing that is happening in our military.
It's discussed and it has to be fixed so what do we do well first of all with command.
Well one thing is I -- -- mannered and in chief and the joint chiefs have to lead the way and they have to ensure that every one meant who becomes an officer everyone who has promoted at any level of leadership.
Has done the right thing by their troops in terms of these cases and right now there's no incentive to make sure that.
For promotions you're doing the right thing and that you're sending perpetrators to -- seven perpetrators to court martial.
There that the system is is is just filled with this incentive right now -- a lot of these serial predators just just get away.
Get away with right place simple.
And we can fix this problem but it's it's it's not a system that can be fixed just with training we have to reform and results suggest.
But to engage the predators.
And and those who were committing these crimes it has to be taken care that unit level to begin with you would expect that the Marine Corps would be very.
Proud to have its non commissioned officers leading that fight we can talk about the general -- the general officers.
But these non commissioned officers have got to be leading the way as well.
I let everyone has been leading the way the when you're when you're in grain in a culture that does not.
Rape culture and that's the case straight out and we have -- air air force chief since you're hesitating to use my word epidemic and now you're talking about a rape culture -- know what I'm saying is.
When they don't understand rape or sexual violence as a phenomenon and this is within the military or outside the -- -- rape is a crime right but the language which a lot of military leaders are using to describe the problem.
Kinda falls into another category -- -- air force chief of staff using the phrase hook up culture to describe sexual violence.
Where -- victims know sexual violence is a crime by the congressional leaders on both sides of the aisle coming forward saying sexual violence as a crime as a -- repeatedly.
Crime the animal logical roots of all of this frankly I mean different because I that may be important to those outside the structure.
And certainly -- on the line of command.
Into men and women serving in uniform and some of whom are obviously being victimized.
They've got to know before we go into this you're not what's gonna happen after a house going to be stopped so that you were bringing the best and the brightest -- -- military.
-- -- they're protecting the military had a huge problem with with do you live with driving while drunk right and and in the in the 70s8090s.
They put a lid on that problem by taking it seriously I -- your career would be over if you were caught her -- while driving.
And that really is it was built into the East Coast of the military we can do that with rape and sexual assault if we send out messaging.
Don't -- don't sexually assault period or you will go to jail and right now we don't have that was in the military we don't -- That's that's a shame that it's not already fixed and we thank you for order -- -- to make -- so.
Thanks so much.
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