Sanchez introduces Track It To Prevent It Act to reduce sexual assaults in military

WASHINGTON, D.C. –– Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez (CA-46), senior member of the House Armed Services Committee and founder and chair of the Women in the Military Caucus, introduced legislation in the House of Representatives this week aimed at curbing sexual assaults in the military and holding commanders more accountable for their actions.

Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez

Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez

H.R. 2230, the Track it to Prevent It Act, takes a multi-step approach toward changing the military’s culture by developing a more effective and accurate performance evaluation process to keep a better record of negative behavioral trends of service members, while also adopting a more comprehensive performance evaluation process for commanders in order to increase the accountability of commanders.

“During my time in Congress, I have made it a priority and have worked diligently to implement policies aimed at reducing the number of sexual assaults that occur within the military,” said Sanchez. “But it’s evident by the rise in sexual assault incidences that the current system in place is not working.

“That’s why I’m proud to introduce the Track it to Prevent it Act this week, which significantly strengthens the military’s process for tracking bad behavioral trends, and holds all service members, including commanders, more accountable for their actions,” said Sanchez. “The Track it to Prevent it Act addresses the culture and climate challenges our military faces today by enforcing an improved process for performance evaluations where service members, commanders included, are held accountable and disciplined for behavior that threatens the climate of a unit.”

The Track it to Prevent it Act strengthens accountability in the military by:

  1. Holding commanders accountable by requiring the Inspector General to create a tracking system to ensure climate assessments are conducted, and including a section in the performance evaluation where failure to conduct climate assessments can be indicated. A recent GAO report found that many commanders are not conducting required climate assessments evaluations. This bill would hold commanders accountable by asking the Inspector General to create a tracking system to ensure these assessments are conducted.  The bill also requires performance evaluations to include a section where senior commanders can indicate whether the commander has conducted the climate assessment.
  1. Making letters of reprimand mandatory for inclusion in performance evaluations.  Currently, commanders are not required to include letters of reprimand in performance evaluations.  This provision would require commanders to include these letters in performance evaluations in order to identify and prevent trends of bad behavior early and effectively discipline repeated actions which hinder a healthy unit climate.
  1. Expanding the Multi-Source Assessment and Feedback Program to all services.  The Army currently has a program called the Multi-Source Assessment and Feedback Program, where commanders are assessed not only by their senior commanders but also by their colleagues and subordinates by providing increased accountability and oversight of the leaders in the military.  This provision asks the Secretary of Defense to consider this type of approach as part of the performance evaluation for all service branches.
  1. Conducting monthly health welfare inspections in order to maintain security, military readiness, good order, and discipline of units.
  1. Reviewing the security of military installations, including barracks and multi-family residences. One of the reasons sexual assault cases cannot be taken to court martial is because of the lack of evidence.  This provision asks the Secretary of Defense to look into identifying security gaps on military installations and also look into using 24-hour electronic monitoring at all points of entry into the barracks.  This bill asks for a review of security measures.
  1. Reviewing the Office of Diversity Management and Equal Opportunity Role in Sexual Harassment Cases.

A long-time advocate for preventing sexual assault in the military, Sanchez successfully updated the outdated sexual assault provisions in the Uniform Code of Military Justice, originally enacted in 1950, in order to grant additional survivors’ rights. She also legislated to implement a sexual assault database in the 2009 National Defense Authorization Act.

  7 comments for “Sanchez introduces Track It To Prevent It Act to reduce sexual assaults in military

  1. Robert Lauten
    June 6, 2013 at 7:45 am

    Combat is violent.
    The military is trained to be aggressive.
    Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez approved of women being in combat areas.
    Sexual assaults are some of the collateral damage.
    Politicians are outraged.
    Politicians don’t live in the real world.
    Low information voters re-elect her again, and again, and again….

  2. Paco Barragán
    June 7, 2013 at 12:34 am

    @ Robert Lauten:

    Combat is violent – NOT everyone serves in a combat role.

    Military…aggressive – Military should also be disciplined and non-criminal

    Women in combat – Many rapes and sexual assaults happen in non-combat environments

    Sexual Assaults are Collateral Damage – Rapes and murders happen in our society, but this does NOT mean we should condone it or do nothing. If a loved one in your family was raped or murdered, would you accept it as collateral damage?

    The military has two missions:
    1) Accomplish the Mission.
    2) Take care of the troops.

    The military has been failing in a criminal manner in its second mission…it has NOT been taking care of its troops.

    For at least 22 yrs the military has failed dismally to protect its own . . . Accountability for criminal behavior needs to be ensured.

    Remember the Tailhook sex scandal of 1991.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tailhook_scandal

  3. June 7, 2013 at 12:58 pm

    Paco, I may be mistaken about this, but did Robert Lauten just endorse homosexual rape in the military? Or is he endorsing members of the armed forced stabbing people just to stay mean.

    Really, if they can avoid cutting off each others’ penises, despite the aggressive violence that is part of being in the military, they can avoid raping women. One shudders to think of what else is rattling around in Lauten’s brain.

  4. Robert Lauten
    June 9, 2013 at 6:02 pm

    @ Paco Barragan

    “War is Hell” — William Tecumseh Sherman.

    Promotions of Military Commanders should be based on their ability to: *Kill the enemy,*Destroy the enemy’s means to continue fighting, *While keeping U.S. and civilian causalities to a minimum.

    In the altered universe of Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez military commanders are denied promotion if there is a higher percentage of sexual assaults per capita in their units, and/or, if they do not complete an adequate “Climate Assessment Evaluation”, (CAM).

    CAM’s should be delegated to Non-Commissioned Officers, (NCO’s), – the Sergeant Major for example. Perpetrators of sexual assault should answer to the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

  5. Paco Barragán
    June 11, 2013 at 11:49 am

    War is Hell . . .
    We all recognize that in warfare, deadly force may be used to kill the enemy; although, killing the enemy itself may not be the ultimate objective; and that even in warfare a disciplined professional military force has to follow the laws of warfare to prevent war crimes.

    I fail to see how the ability to kill and destroy the enemy supports allowing Military – Rape, Assaults and Sexual Trauma to exist and increase in the military the way it has.

    The point is that the military under the UCMJ (Uniform Code of Military Justice) has failed to hold sexual predators accountable.

    Holding an NCO (Non-Commissioned Officer) responsible but not the Commanding Officer is a form of “kicking the can down the road”; and diminishes accountability and prosecution because Commanding Officers can wipe out/dismiss a conviction of a sexual predator without any legal basis or justification.

    In my opinion, higher incidences of rapes and sexual assaults than the average; or failure to achieve adequate training is a reasonable metric to use in holding a Commanding Officer responsible, especially when not all Commanding Officer are overseeing on-going combat operations.

  6. Amin David
    June 11, 2013 at 12:16 pm

    Paco: I agree with you 100%. Please press on!

  7. Charlotte De Vaul
    June 11, 2013 at 3:41 pm

    In which dictionary is collateral damage the definition for sexual assault?

    How many of you detractors would be willing to see a daughter, niece, etc. enter the military under the present regulations?

    Charlotte De Vaul, V.P.
    Anaheim LULAC
    Pres. Mexican American
    Heritage & Cultural Center. O.C.

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