Air Force

July 26, 2013

Holding Airmen accountable: Mandatory discharge for sexual assault

WASHINGTON, D.C. (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 deemed 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.


 
 

 
U.S. Air Force photo/Linda Welz

March Field Emergency Fire Services engineer remains calm at accident scene

U.S. Air Force photo/Linda Welz Engineer Mark Hanenberger, March Field Emergency Fire Services, March Air Reserve Base, shows the gloves he keeps in his personal vehicle in case of an emergency, which proved to be the case when...
 
 

Fourth of July fireworks safety tips

Many cities and communities in or near Riverside County provide spectacular fireworks displays for their residents. The operators of these displays are licensed and have permits issued by the State Fire Marshal. As a reminder (other than the licensed and permitted operators mentioned above), all fireworks (including sparklers) are illegal in Riverside County because they cause...
 
 
Mackenzie-Welz

How being a military dependent helped me prepare for my future

“You’re going to be the man of the house now,” are the words one may hear a military father tell his son before deployment. However, it’s different when the mom is the one leaving her daughter because of a deployment. S...
 

 
Watchara Phomicinda/LA Daily News staff photographer

Honor Guard members bury those who served

Watchara Phomicinda/LA Daily News staff photographer Members of the Blue Eagles Honor Guard practice with their training rifle at March Air Reserve Base in Riverside, Calif. on Tuesday, May 12, 2015. The new trainees must compl...
 
 
Vets-Access

Veteran’s Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014

Compliance by State – Map There is a recent change in the Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act of 2014 (“Choice Act”) that relates to the GI Bill Resident Rate Requirements. These new requirements will ensur...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Kevin Mitterholzer

March Airman prepares for marksman competition

U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Kevin Mitterholzer Staff Sgt. Rodger E. Scrivner, communications specialist, 452nd Communications Squadron, March Air Reserve Base, participates in target practice at the Los Angeles Rifle and...
 




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>