As anyone even remotely paying attention to the news already knows, the focus of many of us in the Pentagon (and the White House and Congress) is on the problem of sexual assault in the miltary. The leadership of all the military services is focused on the issue and the Air Force is no exception.
I don't want this to be a Beltway conversation and it struck me that our social media experiment might be a good vehicle for getting those of you in the field to weigh in. Its also a vehicle for those of you in civilian life with ideas to weigh in. If you want more background before commenting, this is a good start.
So, please weigh in! Use our comments below, our twitter feed, direct message, or even snail mail ( to Air Force General Counsel, 1740 Air Force Pentagon, Washington, Dc 20330-1740) to give us your comments.
Here are some questions to get the discussion started:
Given the large number of unreported sexual assaults, how do we determine whether increased reports are a good thing (more victims coming forward) or a bad thing (more assaults)?
Does it continue to make sense to have commanders involved in UCMJ actions? What is gained or lost by their involvement? How should we structure the military justice system?
Does it make sense to expand the Air Force pilot program of providing legal counsel to victims of sexual assault to all services?
We have a myriad of prevention programs? What works? How do we tell?
Alcohol seems to be a major factor here. Is that true? What can we do to address alcohol abuse and binged drinking?
What issues are those of us in the Beltway ignoring?
Charles A. Blanchard
United States Air Force