Shows & Panels
- The 2014 Big Picture on Cyber Security
- AFCEA Answers
- Ask the CIO
- Building the Hybrid Cloud
- Connected Government: How to Build and Procure Network Services for the Future
- Continuing Diagnostics and Mitigation: Discussion of Progress and Next Steps
- Federal Executive Forum
- Federal Tech Talk
- The Future of Government Data Centers
- The Future of IT: How CIOs Can Enable the Service-Oriented Enterprise
- Government Perspectives on Mobility and the Cloud
- The Intersection: Where Technology Meets Transformation
- Maximizing ROI Through Data Center Consolidation
- Mitigating Insider Threats in Virtual & Cloud Environments
- Modern Mission Critical Series
- Moving to the Cloud. What's the best approach for me
- Navigating Tough Choices in Government Cloud Computing
- The New Generation of Database
- Reimagining the Next Generation of Government
- Satellite Communications: Acquiring SATCOM in Tight Times
- Targeting Advanced Threats: Proven Methods from Detection through Remediation
- Transformative Technology: Desktop Virtualization in Government
- The Truth About IT Opex and Software Defined Networking
- Value of Health IT
- Air Traffic Management Transformation Report
- Cloud First Report
- General Dynamics IT Enterprise Center
- Gov Cloud Minute
- Government in Technology Series
- Homeland Security Cybersecurity Market Report
- National Cybersecurity Awareness Month
- Technology Insights
- The Cyber Security Report
- The Next Generation Cyber Security Experts
Shows & Panels
Congresswoman calls for further inquiry into Air Force sex scandal
Monday - 6/25/2012, 3:56pm EDT
Special to Federal News Radio
Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) is calling for a hearing to investigate an ongoing sexual assault scandal at Lackland Air Force base in San Antonio
"What is happening at Lackland is systemic and warrants this committee's immediate attention," Speier wrote in a letter to the House Armed Services Committee June 20. "The fact that these assaults were widespread and took place over many months flies in the face of the 'zero tolerance' policy touted by our military leaders."
Since allegations of sexual misconduct arose last summer, the Air Force removed 35 military instructors. Air Force officials say a majority of the instructors removed had no involvement in any sexual misconduct; however, military prosecutors charged four male trainers with inappropriate relationships with their students.
Staff Sgt. Peter Vega-Maldonado admitted improper sexual conduct with one woman in a plea bargain. The Air Force punished him with 90 days in jail, 30 days of hard labor, a reduction in rank and pay. He also will be forced to leave the service — but without a dishonorable discharge.
After his plea bargain, Vega-Maldonado told military prosecutors he actually took part in illicit conduct with 10 trainees.
Speier: Hearing will give voice to victims
"Holding a hearing on Lackland will demonstrate the committee's commitment to this issue, allow the military to bring to the committee their concerns with this problem and efforts to fight it and give voice to the victims," Speier wrote.
Speier introduced the Sexual Assault Training Oversight and Prevention (STOP) Act in November 2011 and said in an interview with Emily Kopp on the Federal Drive that the STOP Act, "will take [the reporting, oversight and investigation of sexual abuse] out of the chain of the command so that if you're a victim you don't report it to your unit commander, you report it to a separate office within the military that has the authority to investigate and prosecute."
DoD estimates 86 percent of sexual assaults go unreported, a reflection, officials say, of the fear some have for the current chain-of-command system of prosecution. When victims report sexual abuse, they are often marginalized, labeled with personality disorders and phased out of service, Speier said. Abusing the military chain of command is unacceptable — but it happens — and Lackland is yet another example of this, she said.
"Most of the members of the military today are in it as a career. So what's happened historically is they've just sucked it up and moved on. It is unacceptable, it is a violent crime and the military needs to take it more seriously," Speier said.
Gen. Edward Rice Jr., commander of the Air Education and Training Command, said in a statement Friday that he appointed Maj. Gen. Margaret Woodward, the acting director of operational planning, policy and strategy at Air Force headquarters in Washington, to lead an investigation including all training units in the command.
Keith BieryGolick is an intern at Federal News RAdio
This story is part of Federal News Radio's daily DoD Report brought to you by United Health Military and Veterans Services. For more defense news, click here.