WASHINGTON, May 22, 2015 —
Army Maj. Gen. Camille M. Nichols will assume duties as director of the DoD Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office effective June 8, according to a Defense Department news release issued today.
The current director, Army Maj. Gen. Jeffrey J. Snow, was selected to be the next commander of the U.S. Army Recruiting Command at Ft. Knox, Kentucky, according to the release.
"I want to thank Maj. Gen. Snow for his deep commitment to helping lead our efforts to eliminate sexual assault in the military," Defense Secretary Ash Carter said in the release. "On his watch, DoD has taken important measures to prevent these crimes, support the survivors, and hold offenders accountable. I wish him well as he goes on to lead the Army in helping recruit our force of the future."
Nichols was ‘Clear Choice’
The secretary said he’d personally interviewed candidates to take over for Snow, noting that Nichols “was the clear choice.”
Carter said he and Nichols had “worked together when she was in charge of contracting for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and I saw firsthand how instrumental she was in supplying and supporting our people with everything they needed for the mission -- from protective gear and equipment to vital reconnaissance assets.”
Nichols’ “mettle" made an impression, Carter said in the release.
"Given her skills, professionalism, and devotion to the safety and well-being of our men and women in uniform,” he said, “I'm confident she'll help drive real change as we continue to do whatever it takes to rid our ranks of sexual assault."
During 17 months as the SAPRO director, Snow oversaw improvements to the department's capability to support victims of the crime, as well as the implementation of the DoD Sexual Assault Prevention Strategy which provides a framework to institutionalize sexual assault prevention practices, the release said.
Snow led the development and ongoing implementation of more than 50 initiatives designed to strengthen the SAPR program, increase accountability, and improve victim advocacy and support, the release said.
Additionally, the release said, Snow worked with the Joint Chiefs and department experts to develop accountability metrics for the SAPR program.
‘It’s Been a Privilege’
"It has been a privilege to be a part of a team that is so passionate about their commitment to eliminating sexual assault from our ranks,” Snow said in the release. “I am encouraged to see that so many in the DoD community have worked to better understand their role, and are also taking the next steps to learn how to do their part and step in to prevent this crime.”
Nichols comes to the position with a distinguished career of service, most recently as director of business operations in the secretary of the Army's office of business transformation, the release said. Prior to that assignment she was the deputy commanding general of the Army's Installation Management Command.
Additionally, Nichols has more than 20 years of Department of Defense acquisition experience and served in Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Gulf War, according to the release.
Nichols enlisted in the Army in 1975 in her home town of Niagara Falls, New York, the release said. In 1981, she was commissioned as an engineer officer upon graduation from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in New York.
“I am honored to be selected as the next SAPRO Director and to have the secretary's trust and confidence in me," Nichols said in the release. "Sexual assault in our ranks is truly unacceptable -- it is an affront to our ethos, our values, and the commitment we make to protect and defend our nation, and take care of each other. I am passionate and fully committed to working with all of you to continue the good work of Jeff Snow and the SAPRO team. This effort is the responsibility of every soldier, sailor, airman, and Marine; we owe this to each other."