Defense

March 27, 2013

Performance reviews should show how military commanders handle sex assault complaints

A new report required by Congress recommends that the Defense Department assess how well commanding officers handle sexual assault and harassment complaints when reviewing their job performance.

The Institute of Medicine said in the report released March 26 that military sexual assault appears to be an important factor in the development of post-traumatic stress disorder. It cited previous research indicating that female veterans with a reported history of military sexual trauma were nine times more likely to have PTSD compared with other female veterans.

“Increased efforts by DOD are necessary, and a zero-tolerance approach should be implemented,” said the Institute of Medicine, an independent agency that provides advice concerning health and science to policymakers in the federal government and private sector.

The recommendation about sexual assaults was part of a broad look at the health needs of troops and veterans involved in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Although most of the returning troops have adjusted well to life after deployment, 44 percent have reported some readjustment problems.

The most common overlapping health problems are PTSD, substance abuse, depression and symptoms attributed to traumatic brain injuries.

But the problems seen today are really just the beginning, the report said.

“Previous wars have demonstrated that veterans’ needs peak several decades after their war service,” the IOM panel said.

To prepare for those costs, the federal government should undertake long-term cost forecasts like those that Congress requires for Social Security and Medicare, the IOM said. It said those forecasts should be conducted annually and publicly released by the Veterans Affairs Department and confirmed by an independent expert.

The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan resulted in the deployment of about 2.2 million troops as of mid-December, it said. Women have played a central role in the efforts. They make up 14 percent of active-duty troops and nearly 18 percent of National Guard and Reserve personnel. The panel’s recommendations often focused on the needs of returning female veterans. It said recent research indicates that female veterans have a higher risk of developing depression than their male counterparts, though they are less likely to commit suicide.

“For more than a decade, female military service members have been subject to repeat deployments, have endured prolonged separation from families, have served side by side with men and have been exposed to harsh wartime conditions, including witnessing death and destruction,” the report said.

Pentagon spokeswoman Cynthia Smith said the department would consider the study’s findings and recommendations, and she stressed that sexual assault was not tolerated at the department.

“We are committed to taking care of our people, and that includes doing everything possible to develop the best programs for our service members and their families,” Smith said.

The IOM report also said the support services the Defense Department provides to military families tends to focus on married, heterosexual couples and their children. The panel said the military needs to ensure its support services also help single parents, same-sex couples and stepfamilies.

The Defense and Veterans Affairs departments are required to provide Congress with a joint response by June.

 




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


 
 

 

Headlines August 31, 2015

News: Pilot killed in crash was helping wounded veterans – A pilot who died in a small plane crash in the desert northeast of Los Angeles was giving free glider rides to wounded military veterans. Turkey carries out first air strikes as part of anti-Isis U.S. coalition – Turkish fighter jets have carried out their first air...
 
 

News Briefs August 31, 2015

Pakistan officials: U.S. envoy discusses Afghan peace efforts Pakistani officials say visiting U.S. National Security Adviser Susan Rice has discussed efforts to revive Afghan peace talks. Rice met with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and army chief Gen. Raheel Sharif Aug. 30. Two Pakistani officials say they discussed efforts to revive talks between the Afghan government...
 
 
Courtesy photograph

F-22 inaugural deployment to Europe

Courtesy photograph A pair of F-22 Raptors fly near the coastline of Panama City Beach, Fla. Four F-22 Raptors, one C-17 Globemaster III, and approximately 60 airmen arrived at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, to train with allie...
 

 
ILS photograph

Boeing-built satellite will create first global high-speed broadband network

ILS photograph The Inmarsat-5 F3 satellite launched Aug. 28 aboard a International Launch Services Proton Breeze M rocket from Baikonur, Kazakhstan. EL SEGUNDO, Calif.–When the third Boeing-built [NYSE: BA] Inmarsat-5 sat...
 
 

Civil Air Patrol joins total force ‘Airmen’

When conducting missions for the Air Force as the official Air Force auxiliary, the Civil Air Patrol is now included in the Air Force’s definition of the total force. CAP has provided 74 years of support to emergency services, aerospace education and cadet programs. In August 2015, the Air Force updated Doctrine Volume 2, “Leadership,”...
 
 
DOD photograph by Air Force MSgt. Adrian Cadiz

Carter announces manufacturing initiative to aid war fighters

DOD photograph by Air Force MSgt. Adrian Cadiz Defense Secretary Ash Carter announces the creation of a National Manufacturing Innovation Institute to produce hybrid electronics during a speech at the National Full Scale Aerody...
 




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>