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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 475-97
September 11, 1997

SECRETARY OF DEFENSE STATEMENT ON SEXUAL HARASSMENT IN THE ARMY

The Secretary of Defense released the following statement in response to the Secretary of the Army's Senior Review Panel report, the Department of the Army's Inspector General's report on sexual harassment in the Army and the Army's Human Relations Action Plan:

"America’s Army is the best in the world. Our soldiers prove that every day in Bosnia, Korea, the Arabian Gulf and wherever else they deploy.

Following disclosures of abuses at Aberdeen, the Army launched a thorough investigation of its policies for dealing with sexual harassment. While the studies concluded that the events at Aberdeen were an exception, they also found that the Army must do more to prevent sexual discrimination and harassment. Teamwork based on respect and dignity for all soldiers is a key to combat readiness.

The Army’s response to these problems is comprehensive and direct. All soldiers will benefit from basic training that is longer, tougher and built on basic values as well as from the other actions that the Army is taking.

Secretary West has also addressed the issue of accountability, which is an important component of leadership.

The Army’s actions make it clear that there is no room for sexual abuse, harassment or discrimination in today’s military."

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