Hagel Orders Retraining for Sexual Assault Responders

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has directed that all sexual assault prevention and response personnel and military recruiters must be retrained, re-credentialed, and rescreened. His directive, announced by Pentagon Press Secretary George Little on May 14, came after revelations that an Army NCO serving as an SAPR coordinator at Fort Hood, Tex., is facing allegations of sexual misconduct. This followed the case earlier this month when an Air Force SAPR officer assigned to the Pentagon was arrested on charges of sexual battery. “I cannot convey strongly enough his frustration, anger, and disappointment over these troubling allegations and the breakdown in discipline and standards they imply,” said Little of Hagel’s reaction to the case with the Army sergeant first class (E-7), who is accused of pandering, abusive sexual contact, assault, and maltreatment of subordinates, according to a May 15 Pentagon release. “Sexual assault is a crime, and will be treated as such,” said Little. “Secretary Hagel is looking urgently at every course of action to stamp out this deplorable conduct and ensure that those individuals up and down the chain of command who tolerate or engage in this behavior are appropriately held accountable,” said Little.