Congresswoman Judy Chu's (D-CA) amendment to the Fiscal Year 2015 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) was approved by a voice vote. The amendment requires the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to report to Congress on the anti-hazing efforts of each branch of the military and the Coast Guard. The amendment also requires updated reports from the service branches on their hazing prevention and response efforts. Rep. Chu released the following statement:
"Hazing has no place in our military. It breeds fear and distrust of peers and leadership, and undermines unit cohesion," Rep. Chu said. "I am glad to have the continued bipartisan support in my efforts to address hazing in our armed services."
Congresswoman Chu has led the effort to address hazing in our armed services ever since her nephew, Lance Corporal Harry Lew, was hazed to the point of committing suicide while serving in the Marines in Afghanistan.
In the three years since his passing, Chu introduced the Harry Lew Military Hazing Accountability and Prevention Act, testified before Senate and House Armed Services hearings, and participated in numerous hearings and meetings where she questioned top military officials directly about their hazing policies.
As a result of her efforts, the FY2013 NDAA required each military branch to report to Congress on hazing within their ranks.
"Those reports were inconsistent and indicated substandard tracking results in unreliable data," Chu continued. "My amendment is a direct result of the shortcomings made clear by our previous efforts. We must have unbiased, independent reporting on this issue to ensure that policies intended to address it as are ultimately successful."