DOD orders retraining of recruiters, sexual assault prevention personnel

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel this week ordered the military services to retrain, re-credential and re-screen all military recruiters and sexual assault prevention and response personnel.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel this week ordered the military services to retrain, re-credential and re-screen all military recruiters and sexual assault prevention and response personnel. The move comes in the wake of allegations of criminal behavior by recruiters and other military service members.

One of the most recent cases involves allegations of misbehavior by an Army sergeant who served as a sexual assault prevention and response coordinator at Fort Hood, Texas. Army officials said this week that the Army Criminal Investigation Command is investigating that soldier—who is now suspended from duties— in relation to allegations of pandering, abusive sexual contact, assault and maltreatment of subordinates.

In a joint statement submitted to the House Appropriations Committee’s defense subcommittee May 8, Secretary of the Army John McHugh  and Army Chief of Staff Gen. Raymond Odierno offered details on the Army's Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention Program, under which the Army plans to add 829 full-time military and civilian sexual assault response coordinators and victim advocates, as well as 73 trainers to certify them. McHugh told the panel that the Army also is ramping up legal action against perpetrators.

"The Army has increased emphasis on investigations, prosecutions and laboratory resources needed to effectively build cases in order to ensure each alleged incident is adequately investigated, and if found credible, prosecuted to the full extent of the law," said the joint statement.

To support that effort, according to the statement, the Army's Criminal Investigation Division has added four more criminal investigators, six military attorneys, 20 "specially trained" agents, and 30 more lab examiners.

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