Chairman’s Corner: Sexual Assault Prevention, Response
By Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
WASHINGTON, May. 8, 2012 Commanders and Leaders of the Armed Forces:
Sexual assault crimes strike at the health, welfare and dignity of our service members and undermine the readiness of our Force. As military professionals we must fully understand the destructive nature of these acts, lead our focused efforts to prevent them, and promote positive command climates and environments that reinforce mutual respect, trust and confidence.
Sexual assault among Servicemembers is a problem we face together, one that can only be solved together. In doing so, we will Keep Faith with Our Military Family — they should expect nothing less, and Renew Our Commitment to the Profession of Arms — we should demand nothing less.
Strategic Direction released today is written for commanders and leaders to improve awareness of sexual assaults, operationalize our commitment, and facilitate dialogue and open communications across our formations.
The Joint Chiefs and Commandant of the Coast Guard, together with our DoD Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program (SAPR) professionals, penned this guidance to synchronize those efforts. Together, we will operationalize the concerted efforts of the DoD SAPR Office and our Service programs with renewed commitment to eliminate sexual assault crimes within our ranks.
Commanders and leaders at every level must integrate the intent, lines of effort and tenets of this Strategic Direction as a part of our daily command routines and activities. We must take conscious steps to understand, identify and reduce environmental risks, predatory and high-risk behaviors and personal vulnerabilities associated with sexual assaults or other abuse crimes.
It is up to you, as commanders and leaders, to safeguard our core values and Service cultures by promoting a climate and environment that incorporates SAPR principles as habitual and inherent characteristics of our commands.
Commanders and leaders must personally read, understand and implement this strategy. We are fully committed to supporting your efforts to put this Strategic Direction into action and operationalize SAPR within your commands across the Joint Force. We will set the conditions for you to take positive actions that reinvigorate our military culture and create command climates and environments based on mutual respect, trust and confidence.
You have our respect, trust and confidence.