A Statement by Senator Mark Pryor on Sexual Misconduct in the Military
Senator Mark Pryor questioned top defense officials last week at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing regarding the policies and programs implemented by our armed services to prevent sexual assault at military installations at home and abroad. Pryor sponsored legislation last year to create a Commission charged with preventing sexual assaults at the United States Air Force Academy and he said he was disturbed by new allegations of sexual misconduct occurring among troops serving in the Persian Gulf and elsewhere.
I believe that we need to send a clear message to our men and women in uniform that sexual misconduct will not be tolerated in our armed services at home or abroad. I am appalled by recent reports that indicate some of our servicewomen who are fighting for freedom in dangerous places like Afghanistan and Iraq have reason to be fearful of their fellow troops. It is our responsibility to confront grave misconduct and to change the environment that allows such assaults to occur.
We are a step further this year in preventing and responding to incidents of sexual assault in the armed services, but continued allegations indicate that our work is far from finished. As a new member of the Air Force Academy's Board of Visitors, I am committed to finding out how acts of sexual assaults against female cadets were allowed to take place and how an atmosphere was fostered which allowed such behavior to occur repeatedly.
Our military men and women are known to exhibit the highest standard of honor; I am confident that top military officials will ensure this integrity is upheld and passed on to future generations by implementing tough policies that prevent such transgressions from ever happening again.