Commentary

May 9, 2014

Sexual Assault awareness doesn’t end in April

Col. Jeannie M. Leavitt
Seymour-Johnson AFB, N.C.

As you know, April was Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

the month is over, our focus on this issue is not. It’s unfortunate we have to place so much attention on such a despicable crime, but sadly sexual assault is a real problem in our military. It’s a cancer forced upon us almost entirely by a few predators hiding in plain sight. And it’s incredibly destructive.

As Airmen, we hold ourselves to a higher standard. Our uniform stands for something. It represents a commitment to a sacred cause: a commitment to our nation, our families and one another. Every day we put on the uniform we must earn the right to wear it. Our mission success depends on a culture of dignity, respect and trust. Sexual assault is completely counter to our core values – it shatters trust, weakens our force and threatens our mission. We must work together to eradicate it.

To combat sexual assault, it’s important that we understand how offenders operate and what each of us can do to stop them.
Offenders count on us doubting the numbers, the victims’ accounts, and their own intent. They rely on victims not reporting. They depend on us missing the signs or ignoring the facts so they can continue to operate with impunity.

It is up to us to prove offenders wrong. We must develop an environment where victims know they will not be blamed for crimes committed against them. Where they know they will be supported by their peers and their leadership. Where they know they can come forward and report an assault and the offender can be held accountable. In a court martial case last year, the defendant was found guilty of rape under Article 120 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice – he was sentenced to eight years in prison and a dishonorable discharge.

As always, we must remember that not everyone who is accused is guilty. We have a legal court system to help determine guilt or innocence. All defendants are considered innocent until proven guilty. Our justice system is the foundation of the rights and freedoms we enjoy.

Sexual assault is a vile crime against the victim and against society. I challenge each of you to help prevent it by aggressively defending and enforcing our culture of dignity and respect. Your active engagement is critical. If there are any among us who refuse to live by the core values, or refuse to treat others with dignity and respect, those individuals should remove themselves from our Air Force. We are warriors and we have a no fail mission to defend our nation and our precious freedom. We must demand the highest standards to ensure we remain the greatest Air Force in the world.




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


 
 

 

News Briefs September 12, 2014

Edwards Chapel hosts weekly series “That the World May Know,” a video teaching series, is being offered on Wednesdays at 11 a.m. at the Higher Grounds Café in the dorm area, Bldg. 2511. This is an amazing presentation from Focus on the Family. The Faith Lessons series takes you on a round trip to ancient...
 
 
Vandalism

Vandalism costs school district $12,000

Several base schools have been vandalized since Aug. 25 incurring over $12,000 in damages to the Muroc Joint Unified School District. The majority of the destruction has occurred at Bailey Elementary School where windows, ceili...
 
 

Air Force revamps AEF

WASHINGTON (AFNS) — The Air Force will deploy Agile Combat Support Airmen under its redesigned air expeditionary force construct October 1. The primary purpose of the redesign was to look at ways to deploy more ACS Airmen with their units and standardize dwell times across the Air Force as much as possible to present a...
 

 
U.S. Air Force photo by Ethan Wagner

C-17 treads into new territory

U.S. Air Force photo by Ethan Wagner Since Dunlop Tire was selected as the supplier for the C-17 as the replacement tire, the C-17 Global Reach Integrated Test Team at Edwards AFB has been putting the C-17’s new Dunlop tires ...
 
 

Shoplifting at Edwards Exchange down in 2013

According to the National Association for Shoplifting Prevention, there are approximately 27 million shoplifters in America, accounting for more than $35 million a day in losses. This fact is not lost on retailers such as the Army & Air Force Exchange Service. While it may not be evident to the naked eye, the Edwards Air...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo by Rebecca Amber

412th CE leads way in water conservation

U.S. Air Force photo by Rebecca Amber Xeriscaping can take on many forms, ranging from decomposed granite that looks like dirt, to rocks with desert shrubs and low-water-use trees. Edwards has chosen to stick with a low-mainten...
 




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=""> <strike> <strong>