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Release No: NR-157-14
April 01, 2014

Secretary of Defense and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Issue Video Message on Sexual Assault Awareness Month

In observance of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin E. Dempsey recorded a video message to the entire Department of Defense community. The video message can be viewed at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O5R6AG1mAB8 and the transcript is below.

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel: April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, but stopping sexual assault is something we must focus on every day. Sexual assault is one of the worst crimes a person can commit. It destroys the bonds of trust and confidence that lie at the very heart of our military. We must keep doing whatever it takes to eradicate it.

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin E. Dempsey: As members of the Profession of Arms, we must all be deeply invested in making sure every member of the total force feels safe and can focus on the mission. Everyone who serves has an important role in eliminating sexual assault.

Hagel: Whether on-duty or off-duty – with friends, in the barracks, or at home – you can make a difference.

Dempsey: Intervene when you see others acting inappropriately. Reinforce a unit culture based on professionalism, mutual respect, and trust.

Hagel: Intervening takes courage. If you want to wear the uniform, understanding our core values isn’t enough – you have to live and enforce those values every single day.

Dempsey: We must stay committed to keeping our honor clean. We must strengthen our bonds of trust with each other and with the American people.

Hagel: So step up – and help stop sexual assault. Thank you.

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