Hagel orders military to recertify all who have roles in sexual abuse prevention programs

Saturday - 5/18/2013, 12:30am EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has ordered the military to recertify all 25,000 people involved in programs designed to prevent and respond to sexual assault.

The order, which also applies to the military's approximately 19,000 recruiters, must be carried out by July 1.

Hagel says the step is one among many that will be taken to fix the problem of sexual abuse and sexual harassment within every branch of the military.

At a news conference Friday with Joint Chiefs chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey, Hagel said he believes alcohol use is "a very big factor" in many cases, but there are many pieces to the problem.

Hagel said it has become clear to him since taking office in February that holding people accountable for their actions is important, but simply firing people is not a solution.

He and Dempsey spoke one day after all of the military's leadership were summoned to the White House to discuss the sexual assault problem with President Barack Obama, who has expressed impatience with the Pentagon's failure to solve it.

%@AP Links

223-w-31-(Sagar Meghani (SAH'-gur meh-GAH'-nee), AP national security correspondent, with Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Joint Chiefs Chairman Martin Dempsey)--As it faces a growing sexual assault epidemic, the Pentagon is moving to recertify every person involved in its sexual abuse prevention programs. AP National Security Correspondent Sagar Meghani reports from the Pentagon. (17 May 2013)

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226-a-11-(Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, at news conference)-"in many cases"-Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel says drinking has helped fuel the sex assault epidemic. (17 May 2013)

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224-a-10-(Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, at news conference)-"into changing anything"-Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel says the Pentagon needs to stop talking about stopping sexual assault and actually do something to stop it. (17 May 2013)

<> 00:10 "into changing anything"

225-a-08-(Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, at news conference)-"you gonna fire"-Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel says there's no one way to attack the sexual assault problem. (17 May 2013)

<> 00:08 "you gonna fire"

227-a-02-(General Martin Dempsey, Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman, at news conference)-"we must solve"-Joint Chiefs Chairman Martin Dempsey says everyone involved in the military must do more to end sexual assaults. (17 May 2013)

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APPHOTO DCCK102: Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, left, accompanied by Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey, gestures as he speaks during a news conference at the Pentagon, Friday, May 17, 2013, to discuss sexual assaults in the military and the promotion of Lt. Gen. Curtis "Mike" Scaparrotti to command U.S. troops in South Korea, among other topics. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster) (17 May 2013)

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