More on the Sexual Assaults in the Military
In the latest round of an unimaginative discussion in the Senate and when measured against the “what” that is being proposed in the Pentagon or the chain of command, both institutions—Executive and Legislative Branches, will fall short for what is “needed” when viewed from the perspective of the Private, the Corporal and the Sergeant. And from even the perspective of a ‘greater neglect’ that does not include the First Sergeant and Unit Commander, i.e., the Lieutenant and Captain, in the contemplated “result” that is currently being discussed and advised as public policy, is shameful. As such, Pentagon will tighten control of recruiters and trainers, shore up the protections for the victims, and improve tracking the complaints in an effort to reduce the number of sexual assaults.
Take, for example, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York says:
“It is time to for Congress to seize the opportunity, listen to the victims and create an independent, objective and non-biased military system worthy of our brave and men and women’s service.” Gillibrand, obviously, comes up far short of what’s needed.
And from Congresswoman Jackie Speier of California, she says:
“We need sweeping changes; not the best of what’s not working. I continue to be underwhelmed by the military’s baby steps on this issue.” Speier doesn’t go far enough due to her lack of creativity.
Consequently, from our perspective as the former Privates, the Corporals and Sergeants, we don’t expect much of an accomplishment from Congress or from the Chain of Command. Therefore, a stringent “look” from the perspective of the First Sergeant and the Lieutenant is advisable.
Take, for example, the First Sergeant shouldn’t have to contend with any soldier who commits the egregious act of a sexual assault. Thusly, first and foremost, the abused victim of a sexual assault needs to report this criminal violation to local law enforcement officials. As such, this “off-base” reporting system is justified on the basis that each soldier is a “citizen” first and foremost, and not just a soldier serving our nation. And the second part of this “Two Part Process” would require the First Sergeant to hold an annual meeting/conference and where the First Sergeant is responsible and obligated “to explain” the criminal stupidity that is sexual assault on a fellow soldier, and thusly, each soldier, on an annual basis completes a document for having understood what is “considered” a minimal standard for any sexual assault, starting with the notional of “Sorry, there is no sex for you tonight, buddy” as the fateful first and only warning required.
With the implementation of this Two-Part Process, the Unit Commander and the First Sergeant do not have to contend with any sexual assaults situations, other than making sure that both the “victim” and the “assaulter” are readily available to local law enforcement and further, until “the case” is fully resolved to the satisfaction of “the victim.” Therefore, the only remaining question and open for debate is the following:
“Is the victim permitted to file a legal justification in a civilian court when it comes to seeking financial compensation for the pain, both physical and emotional damage, which was inflicted?”
In closing, Congress and the Chain of Command—civilian and military, is determined to treat our soldiers as Second Class Citizens, when in reality, our citizenship should come first, even when in uniform or when wearing civilian attire in the performance of one’s military responsibilities and duties.
Note: Originally posted on the web site of the Chicano Veterans Organization
Photo from The National Guard licensed under Creative Commons