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Chairman McKeon Statement on Allegations of Further Sexual Misconduct in the Military


Location: Washington, DC

House Armed Services Committee Chairman Howard P. "Buck" McKeon made the following statement regarding allegations of criminal behavior against a U.S. Army Sergeant First Class who was a sexual assault prevention and response coordinator at Fort Hood:

"I am outraged and disgusted by the reports out of Fort Hood today. It is the latest chapter in a long, sordid history of sexual abuse in our Armed Forces. I see no meaningful distinction between complacency or complicity in the military's latest failure to uphold their own standards of conduct. Nor do I see a distinction between the service member who orchestrated this offense and the chain of command that was either oblivious to or tolerant of criminal behavior. Both are accountable for this appalling breach of trust with their subordinates and their failure to act worthy of their responsibilities as leaders.

"I have a granddaughter in the U.S. Army. I understand the feelings of worry and doubt when a loved one accepts the responsibility of military service. We can prepare them to face the enemy abroad. But we cannot, nor will not, tolerate an enemy within. I will not be satisfied with any response to this crime that fails to hold both the perpetrator and the chain of command responsible.

"As we write this year's annual defense bill, combatting sexual assault will be a cornerstone of our legislation. And we will not stop until we stop this behavior in its tracks. While we forge ahead with the legislative process, I am calling on Secretary Hagel to conduct a review of the military and civilian leadership within the military services to determine whether they continue to hold his trust and his confidence to lead in this area. With regard to sexual assault, my confidence in them is deeply shaken."

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