U.S.

July 25, 2013

Holding Airmen accountable: Mandatory discharge for sexual assault

Staff Sgt. David Salanitri
Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs

WASHINGTON (AFNS) — The Air Force recently adopted two new measures to eliminate sexual assault from within the ranks, including requiring discharge for Airmen who commit sexual assault, and requiring the Air Force’s most senior commanders to review actions taken on these cases.

According to Capt. Allison DeVito, chief of JAG’s victim issues and policy branch, both of the recent changes are part of the Air Force’s initiative to combat sexual assault and to foster mutual respect and dignity among fellow Airmen.

When combined with existing programs, the Air Force’s efforts to end sexual assault and support those who report it have been increasing significantly throughout the past year. At the same time, the Air Force is experiencing a surge in its prosecution rates for sexual assault, with similar results being shared by other services.

DeVito explained that, as of July 2, after completing any disciplinary action for sexual assault, commanders must initiate administrative discharge processing for any Airman, officer or enlisted, found to have committed a sexual assault offense.

This new requirement, which covers a wide-range of sex offenses, is triggered by a finding that the Airman committed the offense.

Once a commander has information alleging that an Airman has committed a sexual assault offense, the commander must promptly refer the case to the Air Force Office of Special Investigations.

If the commander believes that the evidence uncovered in the investigation substantiated the allegation, then the commander will take appropriate criminal or administrative action, and following that, he must process the offender for administrative discharge.

In addition to the recent policy change, DeVito said a new provision explicitly states that an Airman, who engaged in an unprofessional relationship while serving in a special position of trust, such as a recruiter or military training instructor, is also subject to administrative discharge.

Airmen, who are involuntarily separated from the Air Force under these provisions, may receive a discharge under “other than honorable” conditions.

DeVito added that another change made to the discharge process requires that an Airman be advised of his right to request review by a general officer. The case can be reviewed if the Airman believes the commander’s recommendation for involuntary separation was initiated in retaliation for having made an unrestricted report of a sexual assault within the previous 12 months. This change further eliminates any perception that an Airman, who reports a sexual assault, may be subject to discharge simply for reporting.

Also on the books, effective June 27th, the Under Secretary of the Air Force directed that any commander who makes a disciplinary decision regarding an Airman who commits a sexual assault, must report that decision to his servicing general court-martial convening authority, who has attained the rank of brigadier general or higher. The general court-martial convening authority will then review the intended disposition and take any further action he deems appropriate.

This change also requires that the general court-martial convening authority must review the case and its disposition after all disciplinary and administrative action is completed and must report the actions taken in the case to AFOSI in writing. Upon receipt of this report of command action, AFOSI will close out the investigative file by attaching a copy of the report of command action to the case file.

DeVito said that, to date, 369 service members, of which are mostly Airmen, have received legal services from an Air Force SVC. These SVCs are attending interviews by AFOSI, the prosecution and defense counsel. They are also attending trials of subjects with the victim-client, assisting victims in obtaining expedited transfers, and helping victims receive military protective orders to ensure the assailant does not contact the victim except as needed to prepare for trial. Currently, the Air Force is the only service providing SVCs to service members.

“Sexual assault has no place in our Air Force,” said Gen. Mark Welsh III, Chief of Staff of the Air Force. “We live in a culture of respect. We cherish our core values of integrity, service, and excellence. But in order to ensure all Airmen experience and benefit from those values, we must eliminate sexual assault in our ranks.”

For more information on the new policy changes, visit www.e-publishing.af.mil and search for AFI 36-3206, Administrative Discharge Procedures for Commissioned Officers, and AFI 36-3208, Administrative Separation of Airmen.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

The new fight: Writing cyber into the science of war

Every year, the Aspen Security Forum brings together the top minds in defense, intelligence and homeland security. This year, more than ever, the conversation is turning to cybersecurity – protecting computer networks and everything attached to them. Cyber is constantly changing the way conflicts and combat unfold. Here, former U.S. Navy Rear Adm. William Leigher offers insights...
 
 
(U.S. Air Force photo/Osakabe Yasuo)

Need help? Trust your ‘Shirt’

LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Arizona — When young Airmen need help or are looking for guidance, a good place to start is with a senior NCO. Making it into the top 3 percent in the U.S. Air Force is a major accomplishment. Alt...
 
 

Local Briefs July 31, 2015

Sunset Horseback Ride August 8, 4 – 8 p.m. – Outdoor Rec Saddle up and enjoy a 2-hour sunset horseback ride through the Saguaro National Park.. Final deadline for sign-ups is July 31. Minimum age: 18. Cost of $25/person. Call 228-3736 for more information. White water rafting and camping Aug. 20 – 24 – Grand...
 

 
(Courtesy Photo)

A Q&A with Master Sgt. Jaime Lewis

The men and women of the 12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern) welcomed a new First Sgt. in May. Master Sgt. Jaime M. Lewis, began his career in 2000 as an Aerial Porter, where he performed duties such as passenger services, car...
 
 
(U.S. Air Force photo/ Master Sgt. Jeffrey Allen)

Relationship building by means of the F-16

  America’s stars and stripes and Arizona’s lone copper star always wave proudly at the Arizona Air National Guard’s 162nd Wing. But it’s the adjacent flags of coalition-partners – from the pacific island-nat...
 
 

Military life: Separated, but not alone

  MOUNTAIN HOME AIR FORCE BASE, Idaho — As the dawn broke out over the mountains, I woke up to the sun peeping through my window. Once I got up I went straight to the kitchen to make my family breakfast yet in the back of my mind, all I could think about is how am I...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>