In a bid to fortify the military’s grip amidst the controversies surrounding its own ranks, the chiefs of all military service groups appeared on Capitol Hill on June 4 to express disdain over sexual assault issues.
The military chiefs aim to intensify their hold on their own troops by reminding commanders to grab hold of the control in prosecution of the sex-related cases. Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, urged military officials to eradicate this problem through their own forces instead of circumventing them, according to a news release.
Speaking in front of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Gen. Dempsey said that this issue on sex-related crimes within the military must not take a larger scale than the real issues at hand. “The risks inherent to military service must never include the risk of sexual assault,” said Dempsey.
He further said that while he respects the interest of Congress to take action on the sexual assault controversy and recommend actions to solve them, commanders must remain firm in their control throughout the legal process.
Some politicians have already expressed interest to help the military solve the issue by taking away the authority of judicial proceedings from them. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, a democrat from New York, recently proposed that the power of prosecuting sexual assault cases be transferred from troop commanders to independent prosecutors. Naturally, military leaders — including the military chiefs who jointly appeared in public last Tuesday — were vehemently against the move.
A report from Pentagon last month revealed that about 26,000 service personnel experienced sex-related offenses in 2012.