The Defense Task Force on Sexual Harassment and Violence at the Military Service Academies conducted its administrative and organizational meeting Sept. 22 and 23. The civilian members of the task force selected Delilah Rumburg as the civilian co-chair. Rumburg currently serves as the executive director of the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape. The military co-chair of the 12-member task force, Navy Vice Adm. Gerald L. Hoewing, was named earlier by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.
The task force fulfills a requirement of the 2004 Defense Authorization Act to proactively assess and make recommendations concerning how the Departments of the Army and Navy may more effectively address matters relating to sexual harassment and violence at the service academies, including any recommended changes to law.
The task force is to report back to the secretary within one year.
In addition to naming its civilian co-chair, the congressionally mandated task force determined meeting and travel schedules and agreed on organization. The task force will organize in three groups, each studying and assessing one of three broad categories: victim issues, accountability issues, and training and prevention issues. Within each of these categories, impact and influence of cultural and community collaboration issues will also be addressed.
The task force will conduct a visit to the U.S. Military Academy and U. S. Naval Academy during the week of Oct. 4-8 for an orientation and to gain a greater understanding of the culture at each of the academies.
Further information on the task force can be found on its Web site at http://www.dtic.mil/dtfs Media queries may be directed to William Harkey, (703) 325-6391.