Air Force Adopts Mandatory Discharge for Sexual Assault

Under newly adopted policy, the Air Force will discharge any airman found to have committed a sexual assault, and senior commanders must review actions taken on these cases, announced service officials on Thursday. These requirements, which took effect on July 2 and June 27, respectively, are aimed at helping to eliminate sexual assault from within the service’s ranks, states the Air Force’s July 18 release. Under the changes, once a commander has information alleging a sexual assault, the commander must promptly refer the case to the Air Force Office of Special Investigations. If an airman is found to have committed a sexual assault, the commander—after completing any disciplinary action—must initiate administrative discharge processing for that airman, whether officer or enlisted, states the release. Further, any commander who makes a disciplinary decision regarding an airman for a sexual assault must report that decision to his servicing general court-martial convening authority who has attained the rank of brigadier general or higher, states the release. The general court-martial convening authority will then review the intended disposition and take any further action deemed appropriate. (Washington, D.C., report by SSgt. David Salanitri)