Here's what jumps out at me (in the highlighted sections):
"I took my eye off the ball in the commands I had," said Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, in response to a statement by Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., that little had changed despite 20 years of negative publicity.
A decade of war, Dempsey said, had pushed aside the issue in favor of improving "command climate."
Some members of the Senate Armed Services Committee supported the service chiefs' opposition to legislation that would strip commanders of their ability to overturn jury decisions in sexual assault and harassment cases. Others, however, hammered the military for its consistent failure to stem the growing number of such cases.
Calls for overhaul of the military justice system have grown louder since the Pentagon released a report last month showing a 35% jump in the estimated number of sexual abuse incidents in 2012 compared with 2010.
"You have lost the trust of the men and women who rely on you that you will actually bring justice," Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., told the leaders of the Army, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard and Navy. She has introduced one of seven bills the committee is considering to deal with sexual assault in the military.I served in the US Army/Army National Guard from 1980-2001, ending up as a Master Sergeant.
It was not a perfect place, my Army. Women did get harassed, assaulted, and even raped from time to time. As an NCO in a mixed gender company throughout my career (primarily Forward Support Medic Company), I always had to keep a watchful eye, and be prepared to act fast.
But, you know what? Commanders then--and that includes the periods of several wars and other operations, so don't give me the "we're at war" shit--did their duty.
I saw a Command Sergeant Major relieved, busted, and retired out of the service in disgrace not for rape, but for sexual harassment. And he should have been.
I saw troops (and, on at least one occasion, a senior officer) convicted of rape and sentenced to hard time in Leavenworth, and no field grade or general officer worth a damn ever thought about overturning their sentences.
Every member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff needs to resign his post and retire.
The US military exists to kill people and break things when so directed by the President of the United States.
It does not exist to harass, assault, or rape American citizens serving in its ranks.
You know when people started mailing their Eagle Scout badges back to the Boy Scouts over the gay scout issue?
I'm going to be talking to other vets: if our leaders cannot do the right thing, it is time to start sending back our decorations.
It is time for every single VFW and American Legion post to stand up for the US service women who have been raped because the assholes with stars on their shoulders chose to be bystanders and not men.
President Obama, if you don't fire them, you are as bad as the Pope.