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Senator (Ret.) Kassebaum Baker's Gender-Integrated Training Press Conference

Presenter: Senator (Ret.) Nancy Kassebaum Baker
January 08, 1998 1:00 PM EDT

Senator Kassebaum Baker: Thank you. Let me say it's been a great honor to chair this task force, and the reason is that the men and women I have worked with on this task force, I have never seen a group that has brought greater expertise and thoughtfulness to the efforts before us. I would like to introduce them now.

First, retired Vice Admiral Richard Allen, United States Navy, former Commander Naval Air Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet. John Dancy, former broadcast journalist with NBC News. Retired Major General Donald Gardner, United States Marine Corps, former Commander of the 3rd Marine Expeditionary Force, Japan.

We had hoped that General Marcelite Harris could be here, retired United States Air Force general. She was meeting her mother at the airport at 12:30. So far, she still isn't here.

The Honorable Deval Patrick, who is the former Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights. Ms. Ginger Lee Simpson, Master Chief Petty Officer, retired, United States Navy, and former Director of the United States Navy Senior Enlisted Academy. She's also a current member of DACOWITS. Professor Marilyn Yarborough who is professor, School of Law, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and expert on Title 9 law.

The panel also included three more members whose schedules didn't allow them to be here today: Retired Lieutenant General Robert Forman, United States Army, who was former Deputy Commanding General, Training and Doctrine Command. Dr. Condoleezza Rice, Provost at Stanford University, and former Senior Director of the National Security Council. Dr. Carolyn Ellis Staten, who is Associate Provost of the University of Mississippi and former Vice Chairman of DACOWITS.

It has been, as you can see, a diverse group. We didn't know each other very well before we started out on this project. It has been a group that I think has really entered in with enthusiasm in undertaking this assignment. We've all learned a lot. I never believed I'd ever be up for reveille before. (Laughter)

I would also like to introduce some of the staff, and I know this is taking up some time at the press conference, but as you well know, it's that kind of work that makes it all possible.

The Executive Director is Dr. Lori Esposito Murray, former Special Advisor to the President on the Chemical Weapons Convention; Lieutenant Colonel Bradford Loo, United States Army, Senior Military Advisor, who was a big help to us; John Walcott, Senior Advisor.

I would like to thank all of the services for the help they gave us as we visited the installations, as we asked for information on exactly how the training was being done. Also to Senior Master Sergeant William Green who helped us as Administrative Officer; Jan Vulovich who has assisted me; and Peggy Coyle, Assistant to the Executive Director.

Just getting on to a couple of comments about the report.

First, let me say our mission was to assess the current military programs to determine how best to train our gender-integrated all volunteer force to ensure that they are a disciplined, effective, and ready force.

We feel strongly in support of gender-integrated training. We feel strongly that even more areas should be made open to women in the military, and salute the advances that have been made over the past several years in that regard as doors have been opened.

And thirdly, we believe there can be a stronger program of training that will benefit both men and women in the armed forces. We unanimously agreed on that. And I think we should not somehow get sidetracked into thinking we were asked to play Dr. Ruth. We were asked to look at this in the light of what could enhance our military services and provide for the young men and women the training they deserve and the training I think that they want.

I would just like to take a few minutes to go over some of the basic points of the report, and then I would like to open it to questions for all of us as we would respond.

First, it is a comprehensive report, and we really hope that it will be looked at as a package, starting with recruit policy.

We recommend that we link recruiters' full credit for recruitment to a recruit's performance in basic training so that it ties directly to the recruiting officer. Not to say that recruiting officers aren't all doing a good job, but that that, again, could be strengthened, and that tie comes into force.

Utilize the delayed-entry program so that recruits better understand what will be required of them both mentally and physically. Increase the number of female recruiters.

In the training cadre, we want to improve the screening of training cadre candidates prior to selection. Increase the number of the training cadre, increase the number of female trainers. Encourage volunteers by improving incentives and rewards so that a training assignment is career enhancing. Perhaps that's the most important, because the training cadre, in many ways, is the backbone, and how these young men and women relate depends on how they relate to those who are responsible for their training. Right now it isn't viewed as much of a career enhancing position as it should be, and we believe can be. We also think there should be a clarification of the trainer's authority.

Regarding basic training organization. We do call for separate barracks for male and female recruits. This is not designed to say that we're worrying about sexual harassment so much as we believe what exists is not really enhancing unity or cohesion at the platoon level or the division or the flight level.

Why this is so is because this has become, because of trying to figure out exactly what to do to provide a strong basic gathering together of young men and women, we've lost sight of the forest through the trees. As a result we adopt no touch, no talk policies; yet at the same time we're saying, oh, but let's have everybody in the same barracks. What good does it do if really you can't even discuss -- we call for elimination of no talk, no touch, and make it, we hope, more realistic to what actually exists instead of up on a chart saying this is gender integration, yet in reality it doesn't exist. So it's far better, I think, to be realistic about, we believe, what would work most successfully.

It's not a problem that's generated by women. I would say right now I think it's very unfair somehow to make women the scapegoat for what may be viewed by some as weakened military training. That is not the issue, and unanimously we believe that actually women are a major and strong force. But what has been weakened is the requirements that we've made for both men and women as they enter our armed services today.

The committee has reviewed the barracks at many of the installations and believes this can be accomplished at minimal cost. So we are trying to, I think, put logic back into the system where we have sort of confused the structure in order to fit how we think it should be instead of how it really would work most successfully.

At the gender-integrated training installations, organize same gender platoons, divisions and flights, and that will continue gender-integrated training, however above those unit levels. As you know, a platoon is your lowest level, and as that platoon moves up, four platoons into a company, where that training occurs together as a company which is classroom instruction, field training, technical training, those are integrated as they are today, and will continue to be, and a continued pairing in the Air Force and in the Navy.

We would also require toughened basic training requirements and enforce consistent standards for male and female recruits; toughened physical fitness requirements; and expand instruction on nutrition and wellness. In split option recruitment in the Army, review attrition rates and determine whether improvements need to be made in providing more leeway to discharge recruits from the services. Eliminate the use of Navy stress cards. I suggested maybe stress cards should be handed out at the Pentagon, too. (Laughter)

Under teaching professional relationships. Improve instruction on how males and females should relate to each other professionally. Then calling for the elimination of no talk, no touch policies.

There is an element of, again, I think reality that we've hoped to bring just good common sense to some of this which we believe will enhance the whole training process. Enforce policies to eradicate disparaging references to gender; teach consistent rules on fraternization; and enforce tough punishments for false accusations regarding sexual harassment and misconduct.

In the advanced school. Strengthen discipline continuum from basic training into advanced training in order to maintain high standards of discipline and military bearing throughout the training cycle. Prepare basic training graduates better for the lifestyle change in advanced school, and prepare advanced school graduates better for the lifestyle change in the operational units. We maintain separate barracks for male and female students in advanced school as well, and review the initial early training curricula to shift more training into the initial training in order to reduce the training requirements of the operational units. That's a little more in-house.

Under values training. Improve values training in all initial entry training programs which includes advanced as well as basic.

Under resources. Increase training resources to improve staffing and infrastructure.

Let me say, this was unanimously supported by the diverse group of 11 members of us of this task force. And I would hope, as I say, would be viewed as a package.

Also, probably the bottom line is leadership. That's what is most important. Leadership that's willing to set standards and take responsibility for those. If you don't have that at all levels, you really don't accomplish much but whatever you put up on the bulletin board that should be done. So it is part of the training process that we would hope would start out with the recruit, and with that in mind -- whether they stay in the services as one would hope, and continue to give that expertise; or whether they go back into the communities. So it's an opportunity, and we, I guess, regard that as offering greater opportunity to the men and women who are serving, instead of getting so hung up on whether it's just separate barracks and living together. We think it is a broader, more important package than just that, and we'd be glad to answer questions.

Q: Senator, you are recommending that the Army, Navy, and Air Force change in having these basic students live separately. Are you also recommending that the Marines begin joint training at the company level and in basic training, make that change?

Senator Kassebaum Baker: The Marines, as you know, do have 17 days of combat training at the company level. That is before they go into advanced, and it's higher up in the chain, that's correct. But they do do it there, and that's the same area where basically it's more enforced in the other services as well. I think we could all say, we would hope as the Marines review their policies, they will see it working well in the other services.

What we're doing is trying to lift the whole process forward. It's not necessarily taking down, it's taking everything up. And it isn't just the integration. That will come if you have a strong training procedure. I think that's only fair to the men and women involved.

Q: What you appear to be doing with the conclusions of the report, at least in part, is rejecting a basic philosophical building block that the Army, in particular, has instituted, which is train together, fight together.

Tell us if you believe the train together, fight together, and if your report is, in fact, taking that and setting it aside. Train separately initially then train together, fight together as you get more grown up...

Senator Kassebaum Baker: I'm going to ask others, but those who train together today aren't going to be fighting together. Your basic platoon level isn't going to be the one ending up together if they go to fight.

So what we're saying is, this chart shows -- it isn't very good here, but in the blue, the platoon level is 60 trainees. That's what you take. As it goes up into the company level, you are integrated again. But as you would fall out in the morning -- so it's really sort of as you live, you train to a certain extent. Because as you fall out you're doing the physical training. But I'd like to have others offer comments on this, too.

Professor Yarbrough: I'd just say, I think it's a misconception that we're saying train separately. We're saying separate barracks, but the training in the classroom, the training in the field, the technical training will be together. It's simply that people will not be living together on the same floor or in the same building. But at any point above that platoon level people will be together, and that's about 70 percent of the time in basic training.

Senator Kassebaum Baker: But your physical training will be marching... As you do your physical training, that will be separate. You come together in the rest of it, which is by company 70 percent of the time.

Q: One of the problems is you said you found drill instructors basically saying they were overwhelmed with basically baby-sitting, trying to separate men and women and keep them from misbehaving, so to speak. Some service personnel say that basically by separating people all you're really doing then is delaying them learning how to work and live together in combat. For instance, once they hit the ship, they're going to be on the same ship together.

Senator Kassebaum Baker: Aren't we all requiring everybody to be a little more responsible?

Q: Why can't they be required to be responsible from the very beginning?

Senator Kassebaum Baker: Because you enter in with a different process. It isn't... You're signing up for a tough job and this is part of initial training.

Deval, do you want to answer some of that? I think we've gotten hung up a bit on...

Mr. Patrick: At the risk of hanging us up further, we are talking about housing teenagers in separate dormitories for the first six to ten weeks of their military career. Six to ten weeks. The training that runs at the dormitory level -- I'm using civilian terms, if you will -- would continue to run at the dormitory level. Seventy percent of the time, the training -- even from day one -- is gender-integrated. Preparing, we think, recruits for a gender-integrated military experience going forward. That's what we're talking about. That is a small piece of the whole, as the Senator said. And I think, frankly, a piece that has been blown entirely out of proportion to its significance.

Vice Admiral (Ret.) Allen: Let me just add to Deval Patrick's comment, if I may. I understand the importance of what you're referring to in the Navy, of when you get to the ship you are integrated and that is really true. I'm positive it is in the Navy's interest to try to train that way in order to allow the new member who joins that ship to totally understand the integration policies. We are not trying to avoid that in any way. What we are recommending is that we build the unit cohesion in boot camp with the separate companies such that when the core values are taught, they're taught in that environment. When the personal responsibilities are taught, they're taught with a unit cohesion and that unit can attach themselves to that cohesive nature. That doesn't degrade the integration policies of the services in any way.

In our unanimous view, it would enhance the ability then for the young people to better understand the integration requirements and the reason why men and women must operate together in the field.

Q: Admiral, could I ask you and the other retired military members of the panel, did you have a sense before you left, or do you have a sense now from your contacts with people who are still in the service, that the quality of the preparation of folks who are coming to the fleet or coming to the Army and the other services has deteriorated? That those people are less prepared, and as a result the services are less ready?

Vice Admiral (Ret.) Allen: No. What I saw, and I saw this everywhere I went, and I think the other uniformed members would agree, that the quality of the average recruit is extremely high. These are sharp kids, and they're not all kids. We have 33 year old recruits in some cases. These are quality people that are being recruited to volunteer their service to their country and to their individual service. We saw top quality personnel, I can guarantee you. I did not see a lowering of the quality standards.

Senator Kassebaum Baker: If I may I'd like to ask Ginger Lee Simpson to respond to some questions as well, from a little different perspective, as someone who served as a non-commissioned officer.

Master Chief Petty Officer (Ret.) Simpson: I'm the enlisted representative of the panel.

One of the things I want to really make emphasis on is fundamentally in the military, when you join the military, fundamentally there is a socialization process that must take place. Having been a former recruit company commander in the 1970s, and then leading those very recruits as young and in some cases very senior enlisted people in the end before I retired, I can tell you that both from a female recruit standpoint, a male recruit standpoint, and in general the leadership of those recruits, it is imperative that initial socialization skills, both in gender, its critical to the success of all integration. So to me recommending that people start separately in terms of their living quarters only, was a tough decision. I think we agonized over it quite a lot.

But in the end what we want to happen is that we want men and women to understand that integration is going to take place, number one. Number two, that fundamentally in the socialization process it must start with the right role models -- both men and women. We are not saying we want women to lead women and men to lead men. We want the role models in both places. But that in terms of logistics, it is very difficult for the services to try to put the men and the women to make them one when in fact they're living in two separate, different places. The cohesion of that is what is getting disconnected. That is why we want to go back to that initial, ten weeks roughly initial training as separate living quarters but train together.

I don't think there's anything different than is happening right now, other than the fact that we tried to put men and women together in the same physical building and it didn't work because of the cohesion problems that we had.

Q: Can you address some of the concerns from females in the ranks who are telling us privately -- because they can't speak to us publicly because they're wearing uniforms -- that they think this is a step backwards. That they are strongly against this. Speak to your sisters in uniform...

Master Chief Petty Officer (Ret.) Simpson: And brothers in uniform.

Q: Yeah, or whatever.

Master Chief Petty Officer (Ret.) Simpson: I didn't see this as a step backwards. What I think of it is is a step away -- to step back and look at what we're doing.

What we saw was tremendous confusion at the recruit level. It's great to have an integration policy in recruit training, but the leadership as well as the recruits themselves were confused.

How am I supposed to really act? You tell me that I'm integrated, but I can't talk to my opposite gender counterpart during the whole time, and yet we want this unit cohesion to happen. We were putting things in place to stop that. As well, the leadership of those recruits also discussed their frustration with trying to enforce policies and not having enough time to actually spend to develop those people through their socialization process.

So that's what I say. I do not say it's a step back at all. I just say nothing major has changed here other than we want you to live in separate quarters. I want you to have a male company commander or whatever the correct terminology is for that service. I want the men to have a female role model as well.

Q: You say your goal is to have them train together but live apart.

Master Chief Petty Officer (Ret.) Simpson: Yes.

Q: But didn't you say that some of the training, as a result of this living in separate barracks, wouldn't some things that are now co-ed in fact be segregated under this proposal?

Master Chief Petty Officer (Ret.) Simpson: What we're finding is a very small percentage. We went through hour by hour of the recruit training, and we're finding very small percentage differences of the actual time, to use your words, segregated from their gender brothers, if you will, or sisters as the case may be. So to me it was insignificant by numbers, because much of their training in their barracks has to do with how to fold their clothes properly, and as a female, I don't need to know how to fold, you know...

Q: On television today when we were showing pictures of men and women training together in boot camp, we see a woman crawl through the mud then followed by a man crawling through the mud. Are we still going to see those...

Master Chief Petty Officer (Ret.) Simpson: We sure are, absolutely. That's field training. That's not living together.

Q: Senator, would this panel have reached its conclusion, do you believe, if it had not been for the sexual scandals at Aberdeen and elsewhere in the military?

Senator Kassebaum Baker: Yes.

Q: Would you have come to the same conclusions?

Senator Kassebaum Baker: Yes.

Vice Admiral (Ret.) Allen: Yes.

Senator Kassebaum Baker: We unanimously would say yes.

Q: Just to follow that up, though. The scandals at Aberdeen are what focused attention on this, and was the genesis for this panel's appointment. But it seems that when you, most of the recommendations that you're making affect basic training as opposed to the advanced training that goes on...

Senator Kassebaum Baker: No. We had some pretty tough advanced school recommendations too, which I just read. A continuum of discipline; the training cadre which really starts earlier but continues through. Do you have the report? It's pretty lengthy recommendations on advanced school as well, and separate barracks are maintained.

Q: There's a reference made in the report to the fact that people who are involved in training believe that people, as trainees, aren't "treasured" enough. That in fact, more attention is lavished on weapon systems than on people, who are really supposed to be the core of the training...

Senator Kassebaum Baker: I don't think we...

Q: And that the cuts in budget have been such that not enough attention has been paid to recruiting, training...

Senator Kassebaum Baker: We didn't say lavished on weaponry.

Q: ...an individual quoted as saying this, though.

Senator Kassebaum Baker: Not in our report.

Q: Yes.

Senator Kassebaum Baker: No, what we say is we need more resources. We do need more money, and we recommend that for training...

Q: Is that the bottom line...

Senator Kassebaum Baker: Well, we're not saying we don't have... No, it isn't. It's just that we believe that individuals are a very important part of the military, we would all agree with that. You need the technical expertise and the discipline to utilize the highly technical weapons today. We believe more resources should be in training and so forth, but I'd like to call on General Gardner here.

Major General (Ret.) Gardner: Let me answer the resources question for you, but before I do that let me get a word in about the beginning of this news conference and the report itself. Let me be absolutely clear to you that this is not a step backwards, nor can it be. The demographics of this country will not produce an all volunteer force, unless we return to the draft, unless you use women. They're in all the services and number about 13 percent of the services, and they are there to stay. What missions we are given in the future will include women at some point in all the services, doing their piece of this. So this cannot be viewed as a step backwards, nor should it be.

Now let me answer her question about resources.

We made a strong recommendation to the Secretary of Defense that drill instructors, drill sergeants, and people who do the training sometimes don't feel like this is career enhancing. One of several ways to make being a drill instructor or a drill sergeant career enhancing and getting them to volunteer to do the duty and getting the very best soldier -- there are lots of demands made by the Department of Defense on all soldiers at all levels to get the best soldiers to do everything -- the sentry in the Secretary's office all the way down to teaching and instructing. Lots of billets requiring the very best. And we don't want, as panel members, for the drill instructors and the drill sergeants, whether they are male or female, not to be the very best drill sergeants and drill instructors that this nation can produce because they are training the young people who are going to do the mission that this Department gives them for the future.

And if it's career enhancing, we've got to do more for them to make it career enhancing. Perhaps it's as simply as a laundry allowance. Perhaps it's as simple as promotion opportunity following a successful tour as a drill instructor or a drill sergeant. Perhaps it's a few more drill sergeants so that they get some time off and can do some quality time with their families. The drill sergeants, male and female, work more hours than all of us do in this room -- every day, all day, in a very stressful job. And some of them don't think it's career enhancing. And we can certainly as services, all of us, all the services, do a better job of making it more career enhancing. It will cost a little bit more money than we are spending on it now because we're going to look for some additional drill sergeants from the personnel sides of all the services to do this job with.

But that's a matter of priorities. It's not necessarily a matter of more money. It's a matter of what's important. This panel is saying to the Secretary of Defense that right now this is more important than anything else you may have to do with your money, so we're asking you to prioritize it better and find some more to find us some additional drill sergeants. That's what we're asking.

Does that answer your question about resources?

Q: Yes.

Q: General, you're not only talking about drill sergeants and drill instructors, but you're also talking about regular trainers, when they get into advanced individual training or into the A schools, you're talking about trainers there too, right?

Major General (Ret.) Gardner: Yes. Drill... Because the services use drill sergeants at both places.

Q: But I'm talking about regular military trainers, where they're going to be teaching MOS skills.

Major General (Ret.) Gardner: No, no. We are interested in increasing the ratio of drill instructors and drill sergeants with the number of recruits that are on the drill field today. The number is too great. In some cases it was 60 to 1; 1 to 200 in one place. There are just too few drill sergeants to meet the need, and ratio-wise, it's out of balance and it needs to be fixed, and we've asked the Secretary to take a look at it. I think he will.

Q: Senator, perhaps you heard me earlier ask a question of Secretary Cohen and he referred it to the panel, but as I was reading this report, it seemed to imply that the current system was not working, to use my words; and I read this short portion here where it said "The present organizational structure in integrated basic training is resulting in less discipline, less unit cohesion, more distractions in training programs."

Senator Kassebaum Baker: Yes.

Q: Doesn't that say that the system's not working now?

Senator Kassebaum Baker: We would say that the status quo is not acceptable.

Q: Can you just elaborate, since we're on this point about what training is separate and what isn't, can you give us an example of the kinds of training under your proposal that would be separate, men and women, and what would still be integrated?

Senator Kassebaum Baker: Training? Specifically training in a platoon. The platoons would all be in the same barracks. As they would fall out in the morning for morning march, they fall out as a platoon.

Q: All one gender.

Senator Kassebaum Baker: At the platoon level. That doesn't mean that the trainers... However, we would encourage both male/female trainers, so you don't have same gender trainers for the same gender platoon, say. But then as they would go into any exercise during the day that's classroom, or as they go into field training, as they would go into rifle practice where you've got a technical practice, you are doing it as a company, and that's integrated. So you have 70 percent of the time in the Army's training is integrated. Gender-integrated training. So it's a small portion, but we believe an important way that enhances cohesion by separating it out.

Q: Aren't you, in a sense, asking for the same kind of trouble the Army had at Aberdeen if you're going to have a male drill instructor or drill sergeant in charge of 60 female trainees at a barrack level?

Senator Kassebaum Baker: The male/female? No. We will have, at the barrack level, if it's a female platoon, if it's a barrack of female recruits, there would have to be a female trainer there, but there would also be a male trainer. But it is important. And in the male barracks it would be the same -- a male trainer and a female. But that isn't... And Aberdeen is really a question of a continuum of discipline and responsibility and leadership that we hope to instill through the whole process by some of these changes.

Q: When you talked to people in the ranks, what was the single biggest complaint you heard from men and the single most frequent complaint you heard from women?

Senator Kassebaum Baker: Well, I think Ginger Lee Simpson spoke to that well. For one thing, those who are being asked to comment on the report, not that many could have read this whole report, because really, we thought it wasn't going to be handed out until today. So those, we talked to over 1,000 recruits, over 500 trainers or so. From the recruits, both male and female, I would have to say it was mixed. Tough in the physical...

Master Chief Petty Officer (Ret.) Simpson: Men and women.

Senator Kassebaum Baker: They think basic is strained. They think the bivouac, the field exercises aren't as tough as they could be, and certainly for physical training they expected it to be tougher, would like it to be tougher. Now you talk to officers and they say that's always what recruits say, but we're going to take them at their word and recommend that indeed it be so.

I would say it's mixed. Some of the female recruits, in all honesty, would want to continue barrack living together and they felt it worked okay. Certainly some of the mail recruits believe so too. But there were a great number that also supported separate.

Q: ...make changes in the service academies?

Senator Kassebaum Baker: That wasn't our mission.

Q: Right, but you're talking about the same...

Senator Kassebaum Baker: We're in enough trouble with just this. (Laughter)

John, do you want to...

Mr. Dancy: I had hoped to get through this without saying anything. (Laughter)

Until a few months ago I sat where a lot of you sit, although not in this particular venue. My role was to be, sort of the role I played as a reporter was to be the independent, neutral observer, and experienced asker of questions. That's what I tried to do during the time I served on this committee.

Let me just say to all of you, having sat where you sit. Don't go away from this and write that this panel is recommending a step back from gender integration. That is just simply not so. What we are trying to do is make gender integration work better than it does.

You've all covered the Pentagon and you know how things work here. The generals and the admirals at the top propose a policy like gender integration and it all sounds fine on paper. But when you get down to the level of the drill sergeants and the drill instructors and the recruit division commanders where the rubber meets the road, these are the guys who have got to make this policy somehow work.

So they look at a policy which says okay, let's integrate men and women into the same units, and they think how can I do this? So they independently institute policies which say okay, you can march with them and you can eat with them, but you can't talk to them, you can't touch them, and you can't even look at them for more than three seconds because that is considered to be sexual harassment. This is not the policy, but that is in fact what happens out there.

What we're trying to do is to bring some rationality to this process and make it work a little better than it does.

Q: While you were discussing this, did you decide at any point that you might want to look at setting different rules for the Army and Marine Corps where many more of the jobs are combat related that women cannot handle?

What I'm wondering, from the Air Force and the Navy perspective, do you think they have legitimate concerns that you're imposing standards on them that are working fine in those services but don't work in a ground combat force like the Army and the Marine Corps.

Major General (Ret.) Gardner: That's for them to decide the legitimacy of what we recommend.

Q: You called for a crackdown on false charges of harassment, sexual harassment. Did you find a trend or a tendency towards such false charges in the military now?

Senator Kassebaum Baker: The fear of. Yeah, I think that's the best way to put it.

I would just like to answer, there are the special missions, there is the question of combat. Our task was to propose what we felt would give our young men and women the best basic training. We are strongly supportive of women moving into new areas, and I think where they are trained and where the services look to expansion, that's then a decision they must make. But first and foremost, we're proud of the young men and women that serve; we believe that we can do something to enhance that service; and that was the thrust of our...

Q: The Army and the Navy particularly worry that recruits are getting harder and harder to get. They worry about their attrition rate in boot camp. So when you say toughen train, they all say we'd like to do it, but we have to worry about the [breaking train]. The kids that come in are not physically fit, they're certainly not disciplined, and if we push them too hard we either drive them out, they DOR, or they physically break. So we've got to feed...

Senator Kassebaum Baker: Then we're doing a real disservice to those young men and women. They either ought to have, that's why we support a better use of the delayed entry program so they'll understand what is required of them, both in physical and mental training. And it isn't easy. I had to ask myself if I could go through recruit training and survive. It is not easy. I think anyone who has been there and followed a day through with a recruit recognizes that.

But I would also say we shouldn't lower our standards just to get the numbers.

Q: Can you just clarify one thing about this tough punishment for false charges of sexual harassment, or sexual misconduct? Some people have suggested that that sends a chilling message to legitimate victims of sexual harassment, that they'll be less willing to make charges if they feel they have to have an overwhelming burden of evidence. Can you just talk about that?

Professor Yarbrough: If you look at the language, our concern is with intentionally false charges -- not with the person who has interpreted this as sexual harassment where someone else would not. But if there can be proof of intentional false charges, which is some of the fear that the drill instructors have, then we think that ought to be dealt with. We think that would discourage, then, intentional and false charges, but leave way and not chill those that are appropriate and may just be mistaken or not found or whatever. So we're trying to make a distinction between those two things.

Senator Kassebaum Baker: Thank you very much.

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