[House Hearing, 113 Congress] [From the U.S. Government Publishing Office] [H.A.S.C. No. 113-2] A REVIEW OF SEXUAL MISCONDUCT BY BASIC TRAINING INSTRUCTORS AT LACKLAND AIR FORCE BASE __________ COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES ONE HUNDRED THIRTEENTH CONGRESS FIRST SESSION __________ HEARING HELD JANUARY 23, 2013 [GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT] ______ U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE 79-490 WASHINGTON : 2013 ___________________________________________________________________________ For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, http://bookstore.gpo.gov. For more information, contact the GPO Customer Contact Center, U.S. Government Printing Office. Phone 202-512-1800, or 866-512-1800 (toll-free). E-mail, [email protected] COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES One Hundred Thirteenth Congress HOWARD P. ``BUCK'' McKEON, California, Chairman MAC THORNBERRY, Texas ADAM SMITH, Washington WALTER B. JONES, North Carolina LORETTA SANCHEZ, California J. RANDY FORBES, Virginia MIKE McINTYRE, North Carolina JEFF MILLER, Florida ROBERT A. BRADY, Pennsylvania JOE WILSON, South Carolina ROBERT E. ANDREWS, New Jersey FRANK A. LoBIONDO, New Jersey SUSAN A. DAVIS, California ROB BISHOP, Utah JAMES R. LANGEVIN, Rhode Island MICHAEL R. TURNER, Ohio RICK LARSEN, Washington JOHN KLINE, Minnesota JIM COOPER, Tennessee MIKE ROGERS, Alabama MADELEINE Z. BORDALLO, Guam TRENT FRANKS, Arizona JOE COURTNEY, Connecticut BILL SHUSTER, Pennsylvania DAVID LOEBSACK, Iowa K. MICHAEL CONAWAY, Texas NIKI TSONGAS, Massachusetts DOUG LAMBORN, Colorado JOHN GARAMENDI, California ROBERT J. WITTMAN, Virginia HENRY C. ``HANK'' JOHNSON, Jr., DUNCAN HUNTER, California Georgia JOHN FLEMING, Louisiana COLLEEN W. HANABUSA, Hawaii MIKE COFFMAN, Colorado JACKIE SPEIER, California E. SCOTT RIGELL, Virginia RON BARBER, Arizona CHRISTOPHER P. GIBSON, New York ANDRE CARSON, Indiana VICKY HARTZLER, Missouri CAROL SHEA-PORTER, New Hampshire JOSEPH J. HECK, Nevada DANIEL B. MAFFEI, New York JON RUNYAN, New Jersey DEREK KILMER, Washington AUSTIN SCOTT, Georgia JOAQUIN CASTRO, Texas STEVEN M. PALAZZO, Mississippi TAMMY DUCKWORTH, Illinois MARTHA ROBY, Alabama SCOTT H. PETERS, California MO BROOKS, Alabama WILLIAM L. ENYART, Illinois RICHARD B. NUGENT, Florida PETE P. GALLEGO, Texas KRISTI L. NOEM, South Dakota MARC A. VEASEY, Texas PAUL COOK, California JIM BRIDENSTINE, Oklahoma BRAD R. WENSTRUP, Ohio JACKIE WALORSKI, Indiana Robert L. Simmons II, Staff Director Jeanette James, Professional Staff Member Debra Wada, Professional Staff Member James Weiss, Research Assistant C O N T E N T S ---------- CHRONOLOGICAL LIST OF HEARINGS 2013 Page Hearing: Wednesday, January 23, 2013, A Review of Sexual Misconduct by Basic Training Instructors at Lackland Air Force Base.......... 1 Appendix: Wednesday, January 23, 2013...................................... 53 ---------- WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 23, 2013 A REVIEW OF SEXUAL MISCONDUCT BY BASIC TRAINING INSTRUCTORS AT LACKLAND AIR FORCE BASE STATEMENTS PRESENTED BY MEMBERS OF CONGRESS McKeon, Hon. Howard P. ``Buck,'' a Representative from California, Chairman, Committee on Armed Services.............. 1 Smith, Hon. Adam, a Representative from Washington, Ranking Member, Committee on Armed Services............................ 2 WITNESSES Lisak, Dr. David, Ph.D., Forensic Consultant..................... 36 McNally, CMSgt Cindy, USAF (Ret.), Service Women's Action Network 38 Norris, TSgt Jennifer, USAF (Ret.), Protect Our Defenders........ 40 Rice, Gen Edward A., Jr., USAF, Commander, Air Education and Training Command, U.S. Air Force............................... 4 Welsh, Gen Mark A., III, USAF, Chief of Staff, U.S. Air Force.... 4 APPENDIX Prepared Statements: Lisak, Dr. David............................................. 74 McKeon, Hon. Howard P. ``Buck''.............................. 57 McNally, CMSgt Cindy......................................... 139 Norris, TSgt Jennifer........................................ 146 Smith, Hon. Adam............................................. 59 Welsh, Gen Mark A., III, joint with Gen Edward A. Rice, Jr... 61 Documents Submitted for the Record: Letter from Hon. Jackie Speier to Gen Edward A. Rice, Jr., Dated November 16, 2012.......................................... 188 Statement of Elaine Donnelly, President, Center for Military Readiness.................................................. 181 Witness Responses to Questions Asked During the Hearing: Mrs. Davis................................................... 191 Mr. Enyart................................................... 191 Ms. Sanchez.................................................. 191 Questions Submitted by Members Post Hearing: Mr. Smith.................................................... 195 Ms. Speier................................................... 201 Ms. Tsongas.................................................. 200 A REVIEW OF SEXUAL MISCONDUCT BY BASIC TRAINING INSTRUCTORS AT LACKLAND AIR FORCE BASE ---------- House of Representatives, Committee on Armed Services, Washington, DC, Wednesday, January 23, 2013. The committee met, pursuant to call, at 10:00 a.m., in room 2118, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Howard P. ``Buck'' McKeon (chairman of the committee) presiding. OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. HOWARD P. ``BUCK'' MCKEON, A REPRESENTATIVE FROM CALIFORNIA, CHAIRMAN, COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES The Chairman. The committee will come to order. Good morning. Thank you for joining us for our first hearing of the 113th Congress. I think it is appropriate that we begin our oversight with a subject that this committee has been vigilant in addressing for many years. At the same time, I find it extremely disturbing that despite the collective work of Congress, the Department of Defense, the military services, and the dedicated groups who advocate on the part of victims of this heinous crime, sexual assault and sexual misconduct, remains a problem within our arms forces. Today we meet to receive testimony on sexual misconduct by basic training instructors at Lackland Air Force Base. The events at Lackland are the most recent example of sexual assaults that have plagued our military for far too long. This tragic example where 32 instructors have either been found guilty, have been charged with, or are still being investigated for crimes against 59 trainees, begs the question: How could this have happened? How could the system and in particular, the leadership, have failed to protect the men and women who serve our Nation from sexual predators who also wear the uniform? While I applaud the Air Force for pursuing indepth investigations to find answers to these questions, I am particularly disturbed to learn that there was significant delay reporting the allegations to the proper authorities when they first came to light. Equally troubling is that no action was taken by local leadership when the reporting delay was uncovered. This to me, is unacceptable. I look forward to hearing from General Welsh and General Rice how the Air Force has addressed these issues to eliminate the possibility that sexual misconduct goes undetected in the future. Make no mistake, Congress shares the responsibility for preventing sexual assault within the military and assuring victims that their cases will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Over the past 5 years, Republicans and Democrats have joined forces to put real reforms in place. We have ensured that victims of sexual assault are taken seriously, provided medical care and support, and that cases are investigated and prosecuted. Last year Congress passed reforms on how the military tracks sexual assaults in order to paint a reliable picture of just how big the problem is. We also established a commission to take a critical look at the Uniform Code of Military Justice and make recommendations for reform to make certain that the military justice system can successfully prosecute sexual assault. However, legislation is not the only answer. Commanders at every level and at every Service must make eliminating sexual assault and all forms of sexual misconduct from their commands the highest of priorities. Senior leaders at all levels must hold commanders accountable for aggressively pursuing allegations of sexual misconduct. We will accept nothing less. I understand that the Air Force has already made several changes to improve the safety and effectiveness of basic training. I would like to hear from our second panel if the reforms and safeguards recently put in place are sufficient. I have no doubt that there is more to be done. My visit to Lackland in September renewed my belief that the young men and women who volunteer to join our Armed Forces are the finest in the Nation. These young men and women have earned the respect of the Nation. They deserve the respect from their leaders and fellow service members. Before I ask Ranking Member Smith for his opening remarks I would like to remind our members that at the same time as we hold this hearing the Air Force continues to prosecute the remaining cases at Lackland. When military perpetrators of sexual assault are tried by courts-martial, public statements by military and civilian leaders, especially senior leaders, about the guilt or innocence of an alleged perpetrator can be perceived as or there may even be undue command influence on the outcome of the trial. That means public testimony about Lackland could be used as grounds for a mistrial by defense attorneys. This isn't an outcome anyone wants. To that end, I will give latitude to General Welsh and General Rice to answer questions to the extent that it will not prejudice ongoing criminal prosecutions. We are all committed to eradicating sexual assault in our Armed Forces, but first, we have to respect the victim's need for urgent and sure justice. Mr. Smith. [The prepared statement of Mr. McKeon can be found in the Appendix on page 57.] STATEMENT OF HON. ADAM SMITH, A REPRESENTATIVE FROM WASHINGTON, RANKING MEMBER, COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES Mr. Smith. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and I concur in all of your remarks and I thank you for that strong statement. I too have a statement which I will submit for the record and just summarize briefly here. I thank General Welsh and General Rice for being here and for the leadership that they have shown on this issue. This obviously is a very serious problem. Being able to protect the men and women who serve in our military is job one. If there is not trust, if the people who are serving do not trust the people who are supposed to be leading them, then the entire system breaks down. And sexual assault and sexual violence is a major problem throughout the military, and I think that is one big point to keep in mind throughout this hearing. This is not just Lackland. I mean, certainly, this is an extreme example and one that I hope we can learn from, one that certainly continues to need to be resolved. The cases need to be prosecuted. We need to get to the bottom of exactly what happened, but this is a problem that has plagued the military for far too long, and that we on this committee, and throughout the military, needs to be addressed in order to make sure our military can continue to function at the ability that we all expect it to. So I thank the chairman for having this hearing. I do want to thank both General Welsh, General Rice, and Secretary Panetta and others, and we have had many meetings in the last couple of years and it is apparent to me that the Department of Defense takes this issue very seriously and is now trying to do their best to figure out what went wrong and how to fix it. It is completely unacceptable that we got to this point, that it wasn't solved before this, but at least now we are seeing the seriousness from the Department of Defense that I think is warranted. I also want to thank, there are too many members on this committee to name who have taken a leadership role on this issue and trying to make sure that we put the best possible legislation in place to make the changes necessary to protect our men and women from this type of assault and violence, so I thank them for that leadership as well. But going forward, the critical thing is to make sure that we do much, much better than we have done now, to learn what are the changes that are going to be done within the Department of Defense, within legislation, to do a better job of protecting our men and women. At the end of the day, the culture needs to change. I have heard a number of members talk about this. I forget who made this point, but basically when it gets to the point where if you are serving in the military, you know that your advancement in the military is dependent upon protecting the men and women and being out front to protect the victims and make it clear throughout your command that this is completely unacceptable behavior that will be punished. When everybody serving in the military knows that that is one of the primary things that they are going to be judged on for advancement, when that cultural change is made, that is the only point at which I believe we will begin to seriously address this issue. I hope we can learn more from this hearing today how we get to that point. Again, I thank the chairman and I thank the generals for being here this morning. I look forward to the testimony and the members' questions. [The prepared statement of Mr. Smith can be found in the Appendix on page 59.] The Chairman. Thank you very much. At this time, without objection, I ask unanimous consent that an additional statement from the Center for Military Readiness would be included in the record of this hearing. Without objection, so ordered. [The information referred to can be found in the Appendix on page 181.] The Chairman. I want to echo Mr. Smith's comments about General Welsh and General Rice. They have been most helpful and those who conducted the investigation, I couldn't commend them more for the seriousness with which they have taken this and for the leadership that they have brought to this issue. At this time, now, I understand we may have votes at any time, so what I would like to do in the interest of trying to make sure that we have time to properly conduct this hearing, if we just have one vote on the rule, we will not break. We will ask the members to go vote and keep moving so that we can expedite this. We will hear from General Welsh, and he will divide the time up between him and General Rice. General Welsh. STATEMENT OF GEN MARK A. WELSH III, USAF, CHIEF OF STAFF, U.S. AIR FORCE General Welsh. Thank you, Chairman McKeon, Ranking Member Smith, and distinguished members of the committee, for the opportunity to speak with you today. This topic is obviously a tough one, but we don't have to enjoy the subject to appreciate the privilege of being before this committee. Thank you for the opportunity, and General Rice and I are truly honored to be here. Mr. Chairman, with your permission I would like to start by having General Rice give you an update on the incident and allegations and activities conducted relative to the basic military training investigations at Lackland, and then I will follow that with a few Service-wide things that we are doing to try and follow-up on activities to learn from it and to do everything we can to ensure that it never happens again. The Chairman. Certainly. STATEMENT OF GEN EDWARD A. RICE, JR., USAF, COMMANDER, AIR EDUCATION AND TRAINING COMMAND, U.S. AIR FORCE General Rice. Thank you, Chairman McKeon, Ranking Member Smith, and distinguished members of the House Armed Services Committee. Thank you for the opportunity to provide comments on the Air Force's investigation into sexual misconduct by basic military training instructors at our basic military training complex at joint base San Antonio-Lackland in San Antonio, Texas. Over the past 9 months we have conducted a very deliberate and comprehensive investigation. Over 550 investigators have been involved. They have conducted over 7,700 interviews. We have surveyed every basic military training graduate from the last 10 years for whom we have contact information. Although we have conducted a 10-year lookback, the vast majority of the allegations are of alleged misconduct that occurred over the past 3 years. During this 3-year period, 855 airmen have been assigned to military training instructor duty. Of this group of 855 instructors, we have completed disciplinary action for sexual misconduct against 8. We have preferred court martial charges against another 9, and 15 other instructors are under investigation. The allegations against these instructors range from sexual assault to the inappropriate contact with students after they graduated from basic military training and were no longer under the authority of the instructor. At this point 24 of the military training instructors are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. We have identified 59 victims or alleged victims of this criminal activity or misconduct. Regardless of whether a victim or alleged victim was the victim of a sexual assault, the recipient of an inappropriate email, or willingly participated in an unprofessional relationship with an instructor in violation of established policy, we have offered each of them the full range of available victim support services and no victim or alleged victim has been charged with a policy violation or otherwise held accountable as part of this investigative process. The 32 instructors who have been disciplined, or who are under investigation, represent less than 4 percent of the instructors who have served in basic military training over the past 3 years, and I believe it is important to underscore that the vast majority of our instructors serve with distinction in a very demanding duty assignment. That said, it is completely unacceptable to us that so many of our instructors have committed crimes or violated our policies and we clearly failed in our responsibility to maintain good order and discipline among too many of our instructors in basic military training. Among the most important and fundamental responsibilities of command is the requirement to maintain good order and discipline among the members of the military organization. This responsibility cannot be delegated. All of the changes we are making in basic military training are directed in one way or another at helping our commanders discharge this fundamental responsibility. Although it is still very early, the evidence indicates that our efforts are making a difference. We have not had a reported incident of sexual misconduct in basic military training for the past 7 months. This is not to say that we believe we are nearing the end of our work; on the contrary, we know this is not the beginning of the end but the end of the beginning of a journey that can never end. The key to success over the next weeks and months, and years is to sustain the intense level of focus we have devoted to this issue over the past 9 months. To this end, I believe the most significant action we are taking to address this critical issue is the establishment of the Recruiting, Education, and Training Oversight Council. This council will include the senior leadership of my command and will, one, review the progress and effectiveness of the actions we are now implementing; two, provide an expanded perspective on future actions we will take to prevent problems from recurring; and, three, advise me on strategic issues affecting airmen safety and the maintenance of good order and discipline in basic military training. In short, this council will help us institutionalize the intense level of focus we must sustain if we are to successfully defeat the threat of sexual misconduct in the basic military training environment. I look forward to your questions after General Welsh's remarks. Thank you. General Welsh. Thank you, Ed. And I completely agree that the BMT [basic military training] investigations don't mark the end of anything. The Air Force has recommitted itself to ensuring that every airman is treated with respect. It is not a one-time fix. It has to be a way of life. This collection of events at basic military training has been stunning to most of us in the Air Force. There is simply no excuse for it. There is no justifiable explanation, and there is no way we can allow this to happen again. The Air Force's goal for sexual assault is not simply to lower the number. The goal is zero. It is the only acceptable objective. The impact on every victim, their family, their friends, the other people in their unit, is heart-wrenching, and attacking this cancer is a full-time job, and we are giving it our full attention. Of General Maggie Woodward's 46 recommendations presented to General Rice at the end of her investigation, 23 are already fully implemented, 22 more will be implemented by November of this year, and the final recommendation has actually been separated from this particular activity. It has to do with shortening the length of basic military training itself, and General Rice is considering that under a separate curriculum review that is already under way. Some of these recommendations have applicability to the entire Air Force and we are working now to build them into the larger Air Force Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program, into our Air Force leadership training at every level, and into our investigative and legal processes. Since becoming the Chief of Staff I have worked pretty hard to express my deep concern with the issue of sexual assault, and I have shared my thoughts with airmen at every level of our Air Force. I have also shared it with every commander in our Air Force. They understand, especially our senior commanders understand, as both Ed Rice and I do, that the American people trust us with their greatest treasures, their sons and daughters. They expect us to lead them with honor, to value each of them, and to treat them as if they were our own. We do not have a greater responsibility than that. Every Air Force supervisor, every Air Force commander must be actively engaged in this effort. If they don't get actively engaged, I consider them part of the problem. I met with our Air Force four-star generals in early October to ensure they knew exactly how I felt about the subject. Not surprisingly, they all feel the same. I directed all 164 of our Air Force wing commanders to come to Washington, D.C. in late November so that I could discuss this issue with them face-to-face. There is simply no room for misunderstanding as we move forward from here. Secretary Donley approved an Air Force-wide health and welfare inspection during the first 2 weeks of December. The intent was to ensure that we provide every airman a work environment that allows them to excel and to ensure each of them feels valued and is treated with respect. The detailed results of this inspection are available to your staff and have been publicly released. And finally, a couple of weeks ago in my monthly letter to airmen, I reinforced the fact that obscene, vulgar, or disrespectful images, songs, or so-called traditions are not part of our heritage and will not be accepted as part of our culture. And while these things may or may not directly relate to sexual assault, they certainly do create an environment more conducive to sexual harassment and unprofessional relationships, and I personally believe that both of those are leading indicators for sexual assault. We have worked very hard to ensure we are aligned with sexual assault policy and on issues from both the Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. We have also worked with the Office of the Secretary of Defense to create special victims teams comprised of investigators and attorneys who have received specialized training in sexual assault cases. That effort has been encouraged and supported by members of this committee, and I thank you for that. A cadre of 24 special investigators have now finished training and 60 Air Force attorneys have been identified and trained to serve as Special Victims Counsel providing comprehensive and compassionate legal assistance to victims. That program goes fully into effect on the 28th of January, but in fact we have already assigned seven Special Victims Counsel to victims around the Air Force. We continue to employ over 3,100 volunteer victim advocates, and in accordance with the fiscal year 2012 National Defense Authorization Act, we are on track to hire and place a full-time fully accredited victim advocate at every installation by October 1st of this year. Mr. Chairman, there are many other things we are attacking, we are doing to deal with this problem that I would be happy to discuss during the question-and-answer period. But in closing, let me just say that I will never stop attacking this problem. We will never slow down our efforts to ensure our victims receive the best, most capable, and most thoughtful care and advice possible until we can eliminate the problem. And I promise every member of this committee that the United States Air Force leadership team will never quit working to eliminate this horrible crime from the ranks of our Air Force. Thank you to the committee members for the help you have already given us on this effort and for the time you are spending here today. General Rice and I are looking forward to your questions. [The joint prepared statement of General Welsh and General Rice can be found in the Appendix on page 61.] The Chairman. Thank you very much. I just was informed that we do have the vote and it will be three votes, so we will have to recess and return as quickly as we can after the votes. General Welsh, during your confirmation hearing you testified that everyone in the Air Force is trying to do the right thing and figure out some way of stopping sexual assault. You know, I don't think this is an incident only at Lackland. I don't think it is an incident only in the Air Force. I don't think it is only in the military. I think it is a societal problem. We cannot fix a societal problem. We can address, as you are, the Air Force problem, and I know in talking to General Dempsey and the other chiefs, they are also looking at all of the branches of the military. However, you acknowledge that what was being done at that time was not adequate to reverse the trend. What are your thoughts on how the Air Force can reverse the trend? Do you have some specific examples other than what you have mentioned already that still need to be done? General Welsh. Mr. Chairman, I think there are a lot of things that need to be done and we need to be doing them from now until the Air Force quits being an institution. The biggest thing is committing to dealing with people on an individual level every day by every supervisor and commander. I don't think institutional directives will solve the problem. I think caring more for every airman will help solve the problem. We have been trying a number of programs, a number of training activities, a number of educational initiatives. While some of them may be successful, they may be helping the problem, we are certainly not reversing the trend in a dramatic way. And so I believe we need to keep looking for new and different ways to approach the problem. As we find things that work, we should expand on them, and continue to exploit them. The Special Victims Counsel I believe is a good example. If we can get the 30 percent or so of the victims who initially report as unrestricted and allow us to begin an investigation, who then step away because of concerns about a number of things, I won't go into all the details that we are hearing, you know all the reasons they decide not to participate in the prosecution. But some of those, clearly, are related to the way we conduct an investigation, the way we advise the victim, the way we make them feel as they go through the follow-up victim care and preparation for trial. We have to eliminate those things and keep those victims engaged in the process of finding, prosecuting, and removing the perpetrators, because if we don't there will be additional victims. I believe there are predators who commit this crime. I don't think everyone who commits sexual assault is inherently a predator, but there are predators. We have to find them, hopefully screen them out early if there is a way to develop tools that allow us to do that before they come into the military. If not, we have to find them through indications from the people around them who know them. And if they do commit a crime, we have to stop them after the first one and not allow them to continue. We also have to work very hard to identify those activities that lead to bad behavior, and there are a number of them. We deal with them with our children all the time. Our younger airmen are nodifferent. They are involved in the same social circles; they do the same kind of activities; and there are the same indicators. A young man who routinely binge drinks and loses control of himself is going to conduct bad behavior. That bad behavior could result in sexual assault. Let's stop the binge drinking. Let's identify the behavior early. But that takes a clear understanding of the issue at every level of our Air Force, starting with our youngest airmen and our youngest officers, and it requires supervisors and commanders who never quit engaging. I think that is the key, Mr. Chairman. The Chairman. The command-directed investigation initiated by you, General Rice, found that the MTI [military training instructor] manning levels at Lackland did not support optimum oversight during basic training. The report recommends increasing MTI manning. Given that the Air Force has drawn down military personnel and is facing continued reduced budgets and the potential of sequestration, how will you fill these extra MTI requirements? General Rice. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. As I reported, my response to the command-directed investigation to the Chief and the Secretary of the Air Force and talked about some of the resource requirements that would be necessary in order for us to implement fully the recommendations. I am happy to say that resources were not a constraint in terms of my ability to address the issues. I asked for more MTIs, military training instructors. They have been authorized. We are in the process of hiring them and training them. In the meantime, we have effectively achieved the impact of having two military training instructors assigned to each flight, which is the end state that we want to get to, by both bringing in temporary instructors on temporary duty status and rearranging some of the staff positions to put them on the line, if you will, to perform military training instructor duty because we thought that was important to do now and not wait for the assignment and personnel process and the training process, quite frankly, to catch up. So we have been authorized the additional positions by the Air Force. Quite frankly, the long pole in the tent is our ability to effectively train enough instructors. We are in the process of doing that right now, but that will take a little bit of time for us to complete. In the meantime, I am satisfied that we have been able to achieve the effect through other mechanisms. Thank you. The Chairman. Thank you. The investigation directed by Major General Leonard Patrick into the training wing's response to the MTI misconduct found that there was significant delay in reporting by senior MTIs. The investigation also revealed that when the commander learned of the delay no corrective action was taken. What actions have you taken to address these failures and to raise awareness among the Air Force leaders of the importance of aggressively pursuing reports of misconduct? General Rice. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. In the specific instance, I believe you are referring to in the command- directed investigation, I directed a separate investigation into the delayed reporting and did find that there was culpability among members of the supervisory chain in terms of informing the commander in a timely manner of an issue that the commander should have been aware of, and I have held people accountable for that delay in reporting. I did find in that specific instance that when the commander knew of it that he took appropriate action initially, but there were other instances that were identified in the command-directed investigation and other areas that we have discovered through other means where I was not satisfied with the actions that commanders and other leaders took in response to reports of misconduct. We have addressed that in a number of different ways, to include putting in place mandatory reporting requirements such that any incident of misconduct or maltreatment must immediately be reported up the chain of command, not just to the squadron commander but to the wing commander and up to the two-star commander who has overall responsibility for non- flying training within the Air Force. If it involves sexual misconduct, this report must occur within 24 hours and the alleged offender is removed immediately from the position of either the staff position or the instructor position until we have had enough time to sort through the details of what went on and ensure that it is proper to either go to an investigation fully or to place that instructor back into the duty position. So partly, we have handled it through this idea of having mandatory reporting procedures that allow us to ensure that these, that the proper information is transmitted to the proper people at the right times in order to deal with this. I would say a secondary, and a second order way that we have dealt with this has to do with the level of seniority and experience that we have placed now in the basic military training environment such that we have more senior experience and seasoned leaders and supervisors making decisions about what constitutes an infraction and what doesn't, and what should be done about it. This is not an environment where we want to test or determine whether someone is a good leader, whether someone has had supervisory experience. It is a place where we bring people who have demonstrated strong leadership, strong ability to supervise, a strong history of making good decisions. And so part of what you have seen in the changes that we have made is to ensure that we get more experienced, more seasoned leaders into these positions so that when they get that information they can make better decisions. Thank you. The Chairman. Thank you. After Ranking Member Smith's questions, we will recess. Mr. Smith. Mr. Smith. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I appreciate that. I think you covered the subject fairly thoroughly. Just a couple of quick questions. One of the difficulties is, how do you measure success going forward? And it is difficult because, you know, on the one hand you could say, well, we have fewer sexual assaults, but you also don't want people to be not reporting. As you are sort of looking at--you know, are you making progress just within the Air Force to get at the broader issue? What are you looking for to figure out whether or not you are moving forward and making progress in reducing and, as General Welsh said, getting to the point where you eliminate sexual assault within the Air Force? General Welsh. One of the things, sir, I think that we need to do is establish and maintain a clear baseline of information. In 2010, we conducted a Gallup survey that gave us numbers on the incidence and the prevalence of sexual assault and reporting within the Air Force. We are in the process now of contracting for the follow-up survey to that, the 2013 survey, to try and follow up on the initial baseline and see which direction we happen to be moving. Is our reporting increasing and, if so, why? Are the types incidents changing? Are the number of incidents changing? Is the demographic of the victim changing? All of those things I think are critical to baseline our effort and then figure out what is working and what isn't working. I think the other thing that is not something that we can grab a hold of and show you is the feedback we get from people within the Air Force. We have made a huge effort recently to start getting to a discussion at the small unit level of respect, treating each other with respect. The feedback we are getting from that effort is interesting because it is clear that we haven't done enough in this area; that people don't feel valued; that we have a certain population of our Air Force that has been going along to get along by ignoring things that they are uncomfortable with in their workplace or in their work environment or with the people who work around them, whether it is mannerisms, poor language, pictures hanging on the wall, whatever it might be. That feedback---- Mr. Smith. That is incredibly important. I am sorry to interrupt, but it is just, you have to talk to people to feel what is it that is making them feel intimidated? And it may surprise, you know, higher-ups what that is exactly. So understanding that I think is critical. So I appreciate you making that point. Go ahead. General Welsh. But I think that is where it starts. The other thing we need to do is identify the numbers in a clear way so that we can have an unemotional, logical discussion about a very emotional topic when it comes to how are we doing in prosecution, conviction, et cetera, and what are the tools we can use to get better. We have major disconnects between the numbers we use in the Department and in the Department of the Air Force, our numbers versus if you look at a prosecutor's numbers on the outside. I don't think the numbers are that far apart, my personal opinion. Now, I base that on the fact that I took the Air Force numbers and asked our staff judge advocate to use the RAINN [rape, abuse, & incest national network] methodology to compute our percentages for convictions, prosecutions, et cetera. Internally when we did that it was within about a percentage point of most of the mean data that they have. And what we have done to follow-up with that is to take that to RAINN, and I have asked our staff judge advocate to sit with a representative from RAINN and together put these numbers together so we can share with you what the numbers are relative to something that is considered a standard or at least a baseline in the nonmilitary world just so we can determine where the problems really exist. We spent a lot of time focused on numbers, and if the numbers are not consistent, if we are not talking apples to apples, it is hard to figure out where you put the most effort. For us, the level of effort, the number of resources we apply has got to be focused in a way that has the most effect. Mr. Smith. I just have one more quick question and we do have to run. I briefly prosecuted domestic violence cases and you mentioned sometimes the victims won't come forward. Can you tell me what--I think within the military, certainly, you know, you have got the broad cultural challenges that we talked about, but one of the advantages you have is you have options in terms of punishment, discipline, and other things that a normal criminal justice system wouldn't have. How are you planning on using those options in situations where you may not be able to prosecute because of, you know, various evidence things, but you still know there is a problem that needs to be addressed? Can you explain some of the discretion that you use within the military chain of command to again change the culture, punish perpetrators, and discourage this behavior? General Welsh. Yes, sir. Let me make a general comment and then I will ask Ed to add some detail on the specific incidents at Lackland. Of the Lackland cases, of the 59 incidents that we are investigating, 45 of those are cases that we couldn't prosecute under a sexual assault prosecution. They are prosecuted for unprofessional relationships, which is something the Uniform Code of Military Justice gives us the opportunity to engage on where you might have a very difficult time prosecuting outside the military. For a little more detail, though, let me ask Ed to expand on that. Mr. Smith. Okay. General Rice. I think commanders have and will continue to use the entire suite of tools that they have to enforce discipline. The court martial process using the Uniform Code of Military Justice is only one of those tools, and as General Welsh said, in the cases that we are looking at, at Lackland, we have cases where, as a commander looked at all of the evidence that was available to him or her and decided that a court martial was not the appropriate venue to get to the right answer in terms of justice in that case, and so they used some of the other tools that are available to them uniquely in the military justice system. I think it is something that is not as well understood oftentimes in terms of the decisions that commanders make in terms of the venue that is used to achieve the right outcome in a case, and the fact that we can use nonjudicial punishment and other forms that in many cases would have the same sanction as you would find in a court martial, but are done in a way that does not require the same level of standards of proof that a court martial would, is a very important tool that commanders can use in order to enforce discipline and get to a better outcome in more cases than if they did not have that tool. Mr. Smith. And to set that cultural norm, and change it. General Rice. Yes. Mr. Smith. I appreciate that. I think we have all got to run and vote, so I will yield back. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. The Chairman. Thank you. The committee will stand in recess for about 15 minutes or so. Thank you very much. [Recess.] The Chairman. The committee will come to order. Mr. Wilson. Mr. Wilson. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and Generals Welsh and Rice. Thank you for being here today. It is really uplifting to me, General Welsh, as you were quoting Air Force Secretary Michael Donley, he indicated that the Air Force is a family. And that is the way I believe, too. And for me it is firsthand. My dad served in the Flying Tigers in the Army Air Corp. I am very grateful. I have a nephew who is serving in the Air Force today. I served 31 years in the Army Guard and Reserve. I have got four sons serving in the Air Force and Navy today, and so it is family. And we want the best for our family members. We want them to achieve to their highest, a fulfilling achievement of military service which to me is an opportunity, and so the issues that you are dealing with must be addressed. I am particularly grateful to General Rice that you were ahead of the curve. Your leadership, and by selecting Major General Margaret Woodward to conduct the command-directed investigation, has been so positive, and I want to thank you. And I would just be grateful if any of my family members could serve with you. So thank you for what you have done. And indeed, with General Woodward's report, in meeting with her, I was so impressed by her determination, her confidence, and she of course came through with 22 findings. And the findings then directed 46 recommendations, and these 46 recommendations are real-world ways to address the problems for the best of our military. And I know that you will be implementing 45 of the 46 recommendations and from each of you I would like to get a report on what is the status of implementing these recommendations? General Rice. Thank you, sir. We have to date implemented 23 of the 46 recommendations. As you know, there was one that I decided was not appropriate for this forum, so we are going to implement 45 of the 46. And we have completed our implementation of 23 of them. Some of the most important near- term actions we have been able to complete, especially as it addresses leadership, and as I indicated in response to an earlier question, the reporting requirements to ensure that leadership is notified in a timely manner of issues. We are on pace to implement the remaining recommendations, 22, by November of this year. Some of them require a more deliberate process for implementation, such as ensuring that we get the right leaders in position through the assignment cycle instead of just pulling people in who may not be appropriate for the position. As I indicated earlier, we have got to go through the right process for training. We have some experience of what happens when we try to overload the training system. We did that not too long ago and the results were not satisfactory. So I have directed that we do this in a very aggressive but deliberate manner so that we get quality training done. And so I am comfortable that we have taken action on the most important recommendations near-term. Those that we couldn't implement in the way that we want to finally implement them, we have taken initial temporary action to achieve the end state and I am briefed weekly on our progress in implementing the rest and we will get at those quickly. Mr. Wilson. And indeed, I worked on such issues as a JAG [Judge Advocate General] officer in the South Carolina Army National Guard. A concern I have are trainees being reluctant to report misconduct. There is always a concern about retaliation or peer pressure. How is this being addressed? General Rice. You have highlighted one of the most challenging issues that we have, and that is, how do we get quality feedback from everyone, both trainees, instructors, and others who are part of this system? We have a system of getting feedback now, but it is not effective enough. When I look at the 59 victims, less than a handful came to us to provide us feedback on what happened. Totally unsatisfactory. We have got to find a better way of connecting with them. I think that as part of the investigative process we have broken some important ground in how to do that better as an institution. We know that you can't just ask the question once and expect that the original, the initial answer is always going to provide an accurate assessment of what is going on, and so how we talk to people and the persistence with which we engage them in the right way is very key to this. We also know that although victims oftentimes themselves won't talk to us or report for any number of reasons, they do talk to other people in many cases. They talk to their friends, they talk to their family. They talk to co-workers, and by engaging those people in the right way we have been able to get a great deal of additional information on the cases that we have today. I believe this area of feedback and accurate feedback is one that we are going to continue to explore. I have asked the RAND Corporation to specifically look at this issue. It is easy for me to sit down and write down a bunch of questions, you know, over a couple of hours and think that I have an effective survey. The actual facts tell us that that isn't very effective, and to do this right, requires, I think, a sophisticated understanding of people and how they feel about these issues. And so they have begun this process and I think are going to help us understand how better to get at this area of better feedback. Thank you. Mr. Wilson. Thank you very much. The Chairman. Ms. Sanchez. Ms. Sanchez. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and thank you, the witnesses, generals, for being before us. My question is, of those military training instructors who have been convicted or are currently under investigation in the Lackland case, did their service record show any history of unprofessional behavior or sexual harassment prior to this? General Rice. I am not aware of any that showed any behaviors of sexual harassment or sexual misconduct. We have a screening process that before you can become a military training instructor we look back at your history for 5 years and you had to have essentially a clean history. That was waiverable by the group commander, and so that is another area where we have addressed that process to look at the background screening program and to assure ourselves that we are doing everything that we can to not bring, as I said earlier, not bring people into this environment that don't have a very strong and proven record of disciplinary history in addition to job performance. Ms. Sanchez. Okay. In the Air Force if an airman or an airwoman is found to be involved in a sexual harassment case, how does the Air Force proceed? General Welsh. In a sexual harassment case, yes, ma'am, the same way we deal with any other misconduct with an airman. UCMJ [Uniform Code of Military Justice] is an option that is available to commanders and their legal advisers. You go through an investigative process and you make what you believe is the appropriate and proper decision. Ms. Sanchez. So if you are being screened, if you want to be one of these instructors and you are being screened and you have had some sexual harassment in the past on the job, would it necessarily be on your record? General Welsh. I can create a scenario where it would not be, Congresswoman. Ms. Sanchez. Various scenarios where they might not be. General Welsh. Yes, ma'am, and others where it would be. I think it depends on the case, but yes. Ms. Sanchez. Because it is at the discretion of commanders or certain people, right, as to how they are going to deal with it. And a lot of times, a lot of times the sexual harassment in this type of situation may not show up on somebody's record. Am I correct? General Welsh. I believe you and I might disagree on the term ``a lot of times.'' I wouldn't tolerate it as a commander. Ms. Sanchez. You wouldn't tolerate it, but there are various instances, correct, where the commander can have the choice of doing other things? General Welsh. Certainly it has happened. Ms. Sanchez. If this instructor or wannabe instructor is being transferred to another unit, would that new commander necessarily know that they had had a sexual harassment episode in the past? General Welsh. Let me answer generically, and then I will ask Ed to address if there is a specific issue related to the Lackland investigation that we are walking towards. If an individual was transferred as a result of poor performance, bad behavior related to sexual harassment, I would be astonished if it was not somehow relayed to the gaining unit and in his record. If they were being transferred as a matter of a routine transfer and there had been a decision made that the sexual harassment was not substantiated, for example, then it would probably not be in the record. Ms. Sanchez. Or if there might have been an incident but the commander decided he would handle it in a different way and it wouldn't be show up on the record, then this person could be transferred somewhere and that would never pass along with them? General Welsh. I would just tell you that yes, that could happen. If I, or any commander I know, including the one sitting next to me, knew about one of the commanders acting that way, we would remove them from command. Ms. Sanchez. While I wish all of our commanders were held to that standard. It is my understanding sometimes they don't actually hold themselves to that standard. I am asking these questions because I am trying to find out, you know, we have seen through studies that sexual harassment leads in many cases to sexual assault. And so we really have to be cognizant of trying to, you know, handle these things, these issues, and to really put it on people's records so that we don't promote them, move them, et cetera, and let them know that, well, they got away with it in this case. Sometimes it is a progressive sort of situation. So my next question is about the Air Force commander's conduct of climate assessment. The GAO [Government Accountability Office] report in September 2011, told us that this wasn't consistently done. How is this done in the Air Force? We have now put in the 2013--I am sorry, in the fiscal year 2013 NDAA [National Defense Authorization Act] that climate reports have to be done. There are two reasons why people don't like to do them, we learned, was commanders are resistant to conducting them, and the command lacked an equal opportunity adviser to help conduct it. So what are you doing about this, because we know that if we had climate assessments some of this harassing kind of a situation might have been put forward. What are you doing now? The Chairman. The gentlelady's time has expired. If you could answer that for the record. Ms. Sanchez. I would like that written for the record, please, Mr. Chairman. General Welsh. We will be glad to, Mr. Chairman. Thank you. [The information referred to can be found in the Appendix on page 191.] The Chairman. Mr. Turner. Mr. Turner. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I appreciate you holding this hearing and the other hearings that you have also held and your attention on the legislative side to us trying to address the sexual assault issue. You have been a leader on this and I appreciated your support as my co-chair Niki Tsongas does, who is the co-chair of the Sexual Assault Prevention Caucus. You have been a great advocate as we have worked with the Senate on these provisions. Gentlemen, we know why this happens. It happens where--we come to this time where we say how in the military could there have been such a systematic breakdown of leadership and not know? We know why, and it is absolutely an issue of culture. We can try to pass laws, we can try to pass legislation, but until we break the culture that allows the environment for this to occur, we are never going to be able to make these changes from the seats up here in Congress. It has to come from the seats that you have, from the leadership that you have, and I want to thank you because I believe that you have turned to this issue. But I want to focus on the issue first of culture to really identify how bad this is and why the military and DOD [Department of Defense] needs to address this issue, first of culture. I had two tragedies occur in my district. Maria Lauterbach, who was a Marine who came forward with an allegation of rape and was subsequently murdered by the accused, and Kori Cioca, who had been revictimized by the system, and my office provided assistance to her. And we all know her story through the movie The Invisible War. But in the Maria Lauterbach case, I want to read to you a letter I got back from the Marines. After Maria Lauterbach had been viciously murdered by her accused, we contacted the Marines and asked them, how could you not know that she was at risk for a violent crime or a violent action or assault, and they actually wrote back this letter to me, which I have here from Lieutenant General Kramlich, U.S. Marines, Director, Marine Corps Staff. And I asked him this question: ``Doesn't a rape accusation inherently contain an element of force or threat?'' And this is the written answer that I got back as a sitting Member of Congress: Lauterbach, the victim, Lauterbach never alleged any violence or threat of violence in either sexual encounter. So I have first for you, gentlemen, a question that is relatively simple. Have you ever heard of a nonviolent rape? General Rice. General Rice. No. Mr. Turner. General Welsh? General Welsh. No, Congressman, I have not. Mr. Turner. I appreciate that. Because that is the answer I have gotten in every hearing that I have started with that question because that is basically part of the problem of the culture of understanding that this is a crime, that this is violence. And I want to tell you another story; I have a question for you there. We were at the Marine Commandant's house, sitting around his dining room table. My co-chair, Niki Tsongas, was there, she can corroborate this story. We were having a discussion on the issue of culture and the need to change the culture within the Department of Defense. When we were all done, we had all identified the issues that needed to be addressed, and the Marine Commandant's wife said, ``Before every one leaves, you need to hear this.'' And she turned to a senior female officer who was sitting around the table and said to her, ``Could you tell them what you told me earlier? If you were subject to a sexual assault, would you report it?'' And she said ``No.'' Here is a Marine senior female officer sitting at the Commandant's table and she said ``No.'' I would like to address that issue with both of you because clearly that is the culture. The concern is the fear of coming forward of the fact that they would be subject to revictimization, that their career would be subject to a disadvantage. And as we hear all the stories of the victims, the basic issue that we have is their concern of fear of coming forward. Now, I want to ask both of you, you had to see in this and you have to see in the culture of the military that part of what happened here in this case and these number of cases that you have is this fear of people who are victims from coming forward. So I want to ask you to discuss that, of the fear of the victims and how you change that culture. The second thing is, and, General Welsh, you made a comment that I kind of cringed at. Because I hear this through the military and it is a term that goes I think partly to the--to some of the disconnect in the view of this. You said, ``We have to stop bad behavior.'' It is not bad behavior, it is a crime. And I think the people around it, the non-victims, they don't feel comfortable either because they have a similar fear. We only have 30 seconds to go. Gentlemen, if you could begin to comment on that. General Welsh. The bad behavior I was referring to, Congressman, is behavior before a crime is committed by people who will eventually commit a crime if we don't stop the at-risk behavior---- Mr. Turner. Appreciate that distinction. General Welsh [continuing]. Of the potential perpetrator. The key to solving this problem, every time I talk to an Air Force audience the first question I ask them about this issue is, why on what was undoubtedly the worst day of a victim's life did they not turn to us for help? We stand beside them in combat areas, we go to war with them, we protect each other's lives. We talk about this constantly. We are missing something fundamental in the human- to-human interaction that will allow them to feel safe enough to come to us and report and let us put our arms around them and help them through this horrible event in their life. You are right, Congressman, that is at the heart of the problem. Mr. Turner. Gentlemen, if you make that your priority, we are going to go a long way in being able to address this. Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. The Chairman. Ms. Tsongas. Ms. Tsongas. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. As Congressman Turner has alluded to and by the mere fact of this hearing, I think you know that there are many of us on this committee who take this issue very seriously and many who have worked so hard to address it, to address it and move you all ahead. So I thank you both for the efforts you have put forth to address sexual misconduct in the Air Force. It is a crime that continues to shock us with its regularity. And, in particular, General Welsh, I appreciate the efforts you have made since you became Air Force Chief of Staff, most recently in bringing all of the 164 wing commanders to Washington to discuss this most serious issue. But I think we all know, as Mr. Turner just alluded to, as others have, that in order for changes to really take hold the culture of the military has to change. And it is a multifaceted effort. Mr. Turner told what you brought him to this issue. What brought me to it was meeting with a nurse soon after I had been elected to Congress about 5 years ago. She had been deployed several times. She herself had never been sexually assaulted. But I asked her if it was as prevalent as I was beginning to learn. And she said, ``Ma'am, I'm more afraid of my own soldiers than I am of the enemy.'' So that tells you that this is a really a very challenging situation that you confront. And the cultural change has to happen not just among our officers, but among our enlisted service members as well who make up about 80 percent of the force. So as you talk about what you are doing and you are starting at the top, how do you change culture across the 80 percent? What are you doing at that level? How do you encourage everyone to embrace the efforts that you are currently engaged in? Because I fear if you don't and aren't successful there we will be coming back again and again and again. You will tell us your good stories, but we will continue to hear very shocking situations that you have said will not occur again. General Welsh. Thank you, Congresswoman, for giving me the opportunity to comment on this. I have never said it will not occur again. I said we can't accept this. It is horrible. We all know that. Human behavior, as you well know, because you are actively involved in this every single day, is very difficult to change. I don't believe the entire Air Force has a culture of sexual assault. I don't believe that. I believe there are units, there are places over time, as people change and personalities take over that we create pockets where culture is a major problem. Ed will tell you that that is what happened at Lackland, this BMT investigation. I don't believe that everybody in the United States Air Force accepts a culture of sexual assault. We have officers, we have NCOs [noncommissioned officers], we have civilians in our Air Force who have daughters who are working side by side with airmen around the world. They are not going to tolerate a culture of sexual assault. Ms. Tsongas. But, General, what do you do? What do you do to change the culture across that 80 percent, not at the wing commander level. What are the specific steps that you can take to begin to address that? General Welsh. You start with simple things. The number one thing we have tried to do is increase the battle rhythm in addressing this issue. As an example, this is a sheet that just shows activities that involve every level of supervision and command in the Air Force for January to March of 2013. And there are things like videos for me and the Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force, to the force, it is commanders' conferences, it is four-star sessions, it is command chief sessions at every MAJCOM [Major Command] level. It is an iteration that goes down at the unit level; every chief and every squadron is getting together with the wing command chief to discuss this issue. It is commanders' calls down to the squadron level. It is roll call at the flight level. And it is in every accessions training, it is in every PME [professional military education] course. It is a matter of getting this discussion going and keeping it going, not just for a short period of time, so it becomes part of who we are, part of the way we operate. Ms. Tsongas. How do you institutionalize that that goes forward once you are no longer the Air Force Chief of Staff? How do you make sure that that continues? General Welsh. I meet every week now with our Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Team on the air staff. Because I think you have to drive this from multiple levels. We meet weekly. If I am out of town, my vice-chief meets with Brigadier General Eden Murrie, who runs this for us, with our A1 Lieutenant General Darrell Jones, and our experts in this area. We create activities that what I have asked them to do is every week bring in something new, something we haven't tried, some idea they found somewhere else, from a Member of Congress, from an advocacy group, from a university or another Service that tried something that seemed to work, at a certain base or certain demographic group. And then let's talk about the logic of implementing this thing. And we create a battle rhythm where we are talking about this, we are implementing new ideas, we are assessing how well they work. We stop doing the ones that don't seem to have a major impact and continue the ones that seem to be making a difference. It has got to become part of the fabric of how we operate. It is no different than the way we operate aircraft every day. We talk about it, we communicate regularly on it. We meet, we come up with new approaches to save money, to increase effectiveness. We have to do the same thing on the command side of the house. That is where we are starting, Congresswoman. The Chairman. Gentlelady's time has expired. Mr. Coffman. Mr. Coffman. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. General Rice, General Welsh, thank you both for coming here today to testify on the problems of sexual assault in Air Force basic training at Lackland Air Force Base. One question I have, General Rice, I think you mentioned that one of the conclusions out of this was to reduce the training time, the number of weeks, I guess, at Lackland Air Force Base. Is that correct? General Rice. It was a recommendation that was in the commander-directed investigation. It was the 46th recommendations that I said I would deal with in a different forum. So we are looking, as we always do, at the length of basic military training, that the length of the training will be determined by the training that we need to accomplish and not based specifically on addressing this issue. Mr. Coffman. Thank you. Let me just tell you, obviously, your training is inadequate. Because you have a culture in the United States Air Force that allowed these really pervasive sexual assaults to occur by your senior enlisted personnel during basic training. And, you know, the purpose of basic training or any entry-level period of training at any of the branches of service--and I have been through two of them, Army and Marine Corps--is to really indoctrinate that soldier, airman, marine, or sailor into customs and courtesies of that respective branch of service and to the rules associated with the Uniform Code of Military Justice that spans all of our Services equally. And so, obviously, something is missing in that training. So I would ask you, you need to reinforce that training, I think not reduce the training. And they need to come out of there, the airmen, the men and women in uniform that serve in the United States Air Force, with a solid understanding of what the values of the United States Air Force are. Because, obviously, those senior enlisted that perpetrated these crimes were not sufficiently indoctrinated as to the values of the United States Air Force. Would you like to respond? General Rice. Yes, sir. I appreciate the question. I completely agree that what makes this so egregious in basic military training is exactly for the reason that you stated, which is this is the place where we have to inculcate the basic values of our Service on our newest airmen. And when we violate the trust that we have to do that, and that responsibility, it is difficult to describe the damage that happens to those individuals and to us as an institution. I agree a hundred percent. I would say, you know, you are right, there is an element of training to this. But at the end of the day, we have people who knew well what the rules of the policies were, who knew well the difference between right and wrong and decided to make a wrong choice. And so part of that I can address with training. Part of this has to do with people's values of what they perceive as wrong and what is right. And how I get at that is partially training. But I think I have got to think more broadly about how I affect someone's calculus about actions that they are going to take. It is why we look at this not just from a dissuade perspective, having people make the right decision because it is the right decision, but a recognition that some people are not going to be dissuaded regardless of the training that I have. And I have got to deter them. I have got to have them make a calculation in their mind that the consequences of their actions are going to be negative enough that they aren't going to take it. So as much as I am concentrating on the training piece of this, I am also focusing on the detect, deter, and hold accountable piece because I know that there are people that I have to do that with. Mr. Coffman. General Welsh, I would agree with you on a very critical point. And that is this, that I think that it is important that those entering the Service have a moral foundation. Because I think you are right, that people that don't have a moral foundation, you can put them through the toughest training in the world and at the end of the day everything will be a calculus as you describe as to what is the risk and reward for my conduct, versus what is morally the right thing to do. But I do want to stress that that discipline comes from that entry-level training. And, of course, I think that no doubt it has to be reinforced at all times. But thank you for your testimony today. I yield back. The Chairman. Gentleman's time has expired. Mr. Castro. Mr. Castro. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. And thank you, Generals, for your testimony. I proudly represent San Antonio, Texas, the home of Lackland Air Force Base. Thank you for coming to testify today. I think when there are scandals like this there are essentially two things that must happen. First, we need to make sure that justice is swiftly served. The second is that we have got to learn from our mistakes and implement policies to change our practices. In regard to that, do we know, for example--have we investigated whether any of this occurred at any of the other basic training units in other military branches? What is hard for me to believe is that in the last 3 years at Lackland that there is something specific to that environment that didn't happen somewhere else at another time. So can you all speak to the scope of the investigation and whether there has been an indication of problems anywhere else. General Rice. I do know and I won't speak for the other Services, but I do know that each one of them at the direction of the Secretary of Defense has reviewed their Basic Military Training Equivalent Program, has reviewed the report that we have written on it, and has looked at the issues that we have found as they apply to their system. So, yes, I know that there has been a review done by the other Services. I cannot speak to what they found as a result of their review. I am sorry, but they have looked at it. General Welsh. Congressman, also, the Secretary of Defense very early in this investigative process asked General Rice to come forward and give him an update on what he was finding. And so Ed did that back in September. As a result of that initial update, the Secretary ordered an assessment of military training accessions programs for all the Services. That is ongoing. It will be delivered here shortly. I don't remember the exact delivery date, but it is in the next couple of months. And the intent is to make sure that anything that is learned from this is lessons are shared with the other Services. Part of the effort that Ed has initiated with the council he mentioned before is that that council will also be able to communicate with the other Services' accessions training programs and make those connections for routine interaction, not just after something ugly occurs. So we hope to share all of this with the other Services. They have been fully briefed on the results of this investigation, the findings and the recommendations on the way forward. All of that has been orchestrated through the Secretary of Defense's Sexual Assault Prevention Response Office. Mr. Castro. And then, finally, have you seen an effect on recruiting? And also what has been the effect on the morale of the soldiers at Lackland? General Rice. No impact that I can tell, and we have looked on recruiting. Fortunately, we are still able to attract the best and brightest young men and women that our Nation has to offer and we will continue to work on that. In terms of morale, this has been a significant emotional event for the people who are responsible for the training program at Lackland. I would say, in general, the reaction of other instructors and supervisors and leaders when this first started to break was one that sort of--their belief was this was a few bad apples. This does not represent, you know, any significant number of MTIs. I think today they understand that although it is 4 percent of the population, 4 percent is 32 MTIs, much larger number than anyone would have suspected existed. And so they have had to both recognize that this is, in fact, a real problem, they have had to recognize that they have a significant part to play in addressing the problem. I think they have embraced the changes, many of them which have run against the tradition of the way that we have done things in the past. But part of what we are doing--and we aren't there yet. You know, this is an ongoing process--is to work with our MTIs to have them understand that they have to take control of this issue. If we are going to be fully successful, they have to be part of the solution set. And this is an ongoing process, I think, of transformation that we are well on our way toward. But I am not in any way ready to declare victory. Mr. Castro. Thank you, General. I yield back. The Chairman. Thank you. Mr. Runyan. Mr. Runyan. Thank you, Chairman. Kind of getting to talking about culture, environment, compared the Air Force to other Services and you talk about the environment, how much of it has--have either of you ran the numbers or seen any numbers, how much of this, people that are comfortable in their situation and have those relationships and created a bad environment instead of having changeover and holding people accountable more often than not? General Rice? Is there--do you see where I am going with that? General Rice. Let me answer the question. If I don't answer it fully, please re-ask it. I agree that having people, especially in an environment that can be as challenging as basic military training for too long a period of time exposes them to, I think, issues and challenges that can be corrosive over time. And so we have to pay attention to how long we allow someone to serve in these positions. That is part of the solution set as we move forward. We are going to restrict the amount of time that you can serve as an instructor, for example, to 3 years. It used to be 4 years. We are going to move that back to 3 years. And we are going to divide the duty day in half, such that you are not having contact during that entire duty day with trainees. It is a way of getting at this issue of exposure over time that we believe can be very corrosive, both in terms of an individual and the development of a culture. And culture sometimes is used in a negative way. Every group of people, whether it is 2 or 200 or 2,000, develops a culture. It is the way human beings react to each other and act. Most aspects of developing a culture are very positive; it is how we relate to each other, it is how we reinforce each other. And there are lots of elements of culture that I want to have as part of basic military training, both among trainees and trainers, so they can reinforce the positive elements of what they have to have as part of this environment. You have to be careful with a culture because it can over time become insular and develop negative elements that you have to be careful about. So part of the changes we have made are to ensure that, in addition to the people who are part of basic military training, who have come back for a second or a third assignment, which is important for us to have the right experience levels throughout the chain of command, we also have more people who are not part of the culture, if you will, in terms of having had previous experience. So it is why at the most senior enlisted levels we are bringing in chief master sergeants who have not been former military training instructors because it gives a fresh outside perspective that is important to, I think, inject into this group of people. Mr. Runyan. I think it kind of--and you did answer the question. Thank you very much. It plays to kind of how we are as a society. We are always saying ``if you see something, say something.'' And when you are in a situation in a group, and you have personal relationships with your buddy, you will tend not to raise that question. And as far as what do you do, is there anything you can do on a disciplinary aspect of it to codify more stringent penalties to discourage behaviors as we are discussing? General Rice. Yes. So we have essentially a standard of behavior that we demand of our instructors. There, you know, has been disciplinary action taken because people knew of things that they didn't report in the right way. So I have a set of policies that require reporting of any maltreatment or maltraining. And if anyone sees something that is not reported, then they have to answer for that nonreporting as part of the process of accountability that we have for the standards that we have put in place. So there is a sanction. But I would say when this works properly, I mean, that is sort of a secondary way to address the problem. When we have it working in the way that we need it to work to be most effective, you know, the instructors and people within the system will be--it will be self-correcting in a way that I don't have to use the hammer in order to achieve the result. Again, this is a work in progress. I think we have to recognize that regardless of the screens that I use to bring people in, I am still going to have some people that I have to use a variety of tools on in order to achieve the result. Mr. Runyan. Yield back, Mr. Chairman. The Chairman. Mrs. Davis. Mrs. Davis. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. And thank you, Generals, for being here. As you know, a few of us had an opportunity to go to Lackland. And I certainly want to commend them for opening up the opportunity for us to ask the questions that we needed to ask and to have access to a number of the MTIs, particularly who spoke with us. And their discussion with us was very compelling. And I wonder if you have or how you have engaged them particularly, because they had good background from which to speak about this, certainly on feeling ostracized, on this whole issue that we are talking about of culture, and what do we do in terms of bystanders who have information that is not shared. How was the information that they have used as you move forward? And did you actually talk to them? Because one of the things that we heard from them, which was really surprising, was that nobody had actually asked them. General Rice. Thank you, Congresswoman Davis. I appreciate the question. When Major General Woodward conducted her investigation, she actually had an extensive piece of her research work that involved talking to instructors. And several of her recommendations are based directly on that feedback that she got from instructors. Subsequent to that, the wing commander who is in place now and the group commander who is in place now, who is directly responsible for basic military training, has conducted a series of engagements with our instructors. The first, absolute first thing that the new wing commander did was sit down with all of the military training instructors and had a session with them to both let them know what his expectations were, importantly to convey to them clearly what the outside world was thinking about this, and to get feedback from them and to let them know that he was completely open to their assessment of what we need to do to move forward because he understands better than anyone that he cannot do this alone, that they have to do this with us. Mrs. Davis. I know you have spoken to the increased communication, and I think that is very important. One of the things we did here, and I am assuming this was relayed as well, is that having some informal--this sounds like a contrary--but informal mandatory meetings for everybody to have a chance to sit down and to talk about what they see. Because trying to get these issues of environment and climate and culture in questionnaires I think most people don't believe that you actually get there. And so having the opportunity to sit down, and if it is mandatory then everybody is doing it, and it doesn't mean that someone is going and telling on their peers, which is a really big problem that you have all discovered, I know. Is that--I didn't quite see that in the recommendations. And I am just wondering, where does that issue fall when it comes to the broader areas of recruiting and oversight and review that clearly have not all been instituted yet? General Rice. Ma'am, you are right that that was not a specific recommendation. But I wanted to underscore again the 45 recommendations were just the starting point. So we have done a lot more since then and will continue to do more in the past. And I am open and welcoming any suggestions and recommendations on what else we can do. You and I have talked about this issue. I think it is an important one that we need to find the right way to do, the right way to address. And I want to do it in the right way. It gets back to this idea of feedback. Mrs. Davis. Yes. I guess my question would be, why not? Why something like that? Is it cost? Is it personnel? Why we wouldn't do that. And I guess just a follow-up question, in terms of the number of female MTIs and how has that increased and what are you doing about that? Sir, did you want to? General Welsh. Yes, I will answer your initial question if I could, Congresswoman, then I will turn back to Ed so he can tell you exactly where we stand in bringing in the female MTIs, increased numbers. First of all, on speaking to the MTIs at Lackland, actually a lot of people have spoken to them. The Secretary of the Air Force has visited with them back last fall. I have done the same thing. Ed, of course, and the leadership that he mentioned as a team there have all talked to them. The individuals you talked to might not have been there, but a lot of people have gone and talked to the MTIs to get their feedback. The number one thing I took away from the meetings with them was that those people, and the passions they have now for this problem, they feel exactly the way I do. And that is that our Air Force, our military, ought to be leading this effort for the country. We have a structure. We have the ability to command and control and educate and train and oversee, and we have the ability to punish. We have all the tools in place to be the role models for this. We owe you that. We owe the American people that. The Chairman. Gentlelady's time has expired. Could you please finish that answer for the record? [The information referred to can be found in the Appendix on page 191.] The Chairman. Mr. Nugent. Mr. Nugent. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. And as a graduate from Lackland Air Force Base, many years ago, really disturbing as we move across. But my big concern, having been a sheriff and prosecuted and investigated sexual assault cases, is the victimization, how we deal with those victims, and particularly as an organization how does the reporting process go? Sexual assault or sexual harassment don't always go hand in hand, but they are different in certain aspects. But the reporting process. And if I hear this correctly, the commander makes the decision whether or not it goes to a judicial process or it goes to a nonjudicial process. How do they make that decision? General Welsh. Sir, sexual harassment will sometimes be handled through other venues rather than the UCMJ. Very often it will be raised by a report to the Equal Opportunity Office on base or to the Inspector General on base. And it is passed to the Equal Opportunity Office for an investigation conducted by that office. There is a formal process it goes through. That process reports back to the commander. And then there is a decision made on what to do. Is it something you handle administratively? Is there something that actually escalates this to a level where you would deal with it under the UCMJ? You make the decision after the process is completed. A report of a sexual assault takes this to a different level. There is law enforcement. The OSI, the Office of Special Investigations is involved. And it immediately jumps into a process that is bound and judged through the UCMJ. Mr. Nugent. Do they have to follow a chain of command to report that? General Welsh. No, sir, they do not in either case. You can report directly to an Equal Opportunity Office, you can report directly to the Inspector General, you can go to your chain of command. You can report any number of ways. Clearly, reporting is part of the problem, though. Despite all of the options we attempt to offer, people do not come forward and report routinely on either sexual assault or sexual harassment. That is one of the major issues we have to get to. Mr. Nugent. And that is the climate issue in regards to how do you get folks to come forward, and particularly---- General Welsh. Yes, sir. Mr. Nugent [continuing]. In a military application because they all want to cooperate and graduate. They want to be able to move up through the ranks, and they are fearful that an allegation will be used against them versus a fair and judicious application as it relates to the offender. And I guess so what are you doing specifically for the victims to encourage them to come forward without the worry of, you know, retaliation? General Rice. We start this when they are recruits. So their recruiter provides them with a one-on-one briefing about what is and what isn't allowed in terms of behavior when they get to basic military training. That briefing is repeated once they get to basic military training within the first days that they arrive. And then we repeat it again in technical training in terms of expectations. It is not a silver bullet, but it is one of the means that we try to over time set the expectation of what very brand new people to our organization should expect and what is normal behavior and what is abnormal behavior and then try over time through those engagements in the right way-- they have to be done in the right way--to develop a level of trust, and the person that is conveying that information and in the system and how it will react. I think a second important way we are addressing this in basic training is to provide other avenues and more of those other avenues for trainees to report. So we have added more sexual assault response coordinators who will be out and about in the community and will have more opportunity to have engagements with trainees. We have added more chaplains, again, someone who we hope that they will feel may be more comfortable talking to in one-on-one sessions. And more leadership in general will be part of the equation. Again, none of these are, you know, one-point solutions, but part of a total package that we think heads us in the right direction. Mr. Nugent. One last question. Your victim advocates that you have and your investigators, do they work hand in hand in regards to trying to help the victim move forward in regards to dealing with the actual allegation? General Welsh. The special victims counsel's job is to advise the victim to make the process as simple, as understandable, and as painless as possible for the victim and to streamline the activity associated with the UCMJ process to include up through a court martial activity, so they are removed from the friction and the frustration and the lack of understanding and the poor communication that often makes their situation even worse. Mr. Nugent. Is there mental health counseling---- The Chairman. Gentleman's time has expired. Ms. Speier. Ms. Speier. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. And thank you, Generals, for your participation. I have a letter dated November 16th to General Rice from me that I would like to submit for the record, Mr. Chairman. The Chairman. Without objection, so ordered. What year was that? Ms. Speier. Last year. The Chairman. Without objection, so ordered. [The information referred to can be found in the Appendix on page 188.] Ms. Speier. General Welsh, we all had a meeting about this document. We talked about 17,000 hours, we talked about 32 staff. General Rice referenced 7,700 interviews. And not one of the victims, not one of the 50-plus victims at Lackland was interviewed. Forty-six recommendations came out. But how can any of those recommendations be complete without first having talked to at least some of the victims? Now, the letter I sent to General Rice dated in November sought to have those victims interviewed. I have yet to get a response from General Rice. General Welsh. I don't think the effort can be complete until we have the chance to talk to the victims. Ms. Speier. All right. Let me go on. The trainees that we met with, we had lunch with them. They were 17, 18, 19 years of age. They were young, they were naive, they were earnest. And as I sat there having lunch with them at Lackland, I thought to myself, oh, my God, these are the age of my daughter. All of these trainees are the ages of my daughter. And my daughter would no more have the ability to say ``No'' to a military training instructor, who you are taught is the law, you do everything that training instructor tells you. Now, there has been a lot of talk here today about all the things that are happening. But what happened was that military training instructors directed these trainees to go to supply closets and to the laundry room, where they were then sexually assaulted and raped. We have two instructors that admitted to having had sex with ten of their trainees, each. And these instructors were married. Now, in the end, do you agree or not agree that consent should not be part of this quotient? General Rice said that some of these were willingly engaged in sex with their MTI. As I understand it, the MTI is never supposed to be alone with a trainee in a room. Never alone. So can a trainee willingly have sex with her instructor? Your answer. General Welsh. I would never be able to look you in the eye and tell you that no trainee of any age--we have trainees who are 30, 32, 34 years old who go through this program--would ever be able to offer their personal consent in a situation like that. I don't know that, I can't judge that. And I think that is a little problematic under law. Let me tell you what I do agree with, and I think you probably agree with this. An individual who is serving as a military training instructor who has a relationship like this with a trainee has no place in our Air Force. And there should be a presumptive sanction under some mechanism to discharge him. Ms. Speier. So I am introducing a bill today that will basically say no longer can a consensual relationship between a training instructor and a trainee be used as a defense for the acts of the training instructor. Would you support that legislation? General Welsh. Ma'am, I would have to ask my legal experts to advise me on the technicalities of that legislation. I will support you in an effort to make sure someone who has that kind of a relationship in an Air Force training program, that BMT, it is just unacceptable---- Ms. Speier. And they are kicked out of the military. General Welsh. And that they are out of the military. Ms. Speier. Thank you. A military expert, Professor Heigl from Yale, recently said that the UCMJ is something that would be recognized by George VIII, that they are very similar to what is going on in the U.K. Now, the United Kingdom had a scandal like this in 2006. And they created a separate unit, a separate unit that was staffed with experts in investigations and prosecutions within the military to handle these cases, so that the decision was not being made by the unit commander. That was in 2006. In 2007, they found that good order and discipline stayed intact, that in fact the unit commanders were relieved of not having to handle these cases anymore. I would like to encourage you to speak with your counterparts in the U.K. to see how their system works and see if we wouldn't be better served moving into a system like that. I yield back. The Chairman. Dr. Wenstrup. Dr. Wenstrup. Thank you, Mr. Chair. I am encouraged to hear you say that there is a training session for the new recruits before they actually go to BMT. I think that that is very helpful. I guess my question is how do we get the recruits to fully understand or believe that reporting bad behavior will be supported by the leadership and will not harm them, that they can develop that trust and know that that is the right thing to do and be more confident in their reporting. What might your suggestions be on that? General Rice. Very challenging. I have been through basic military training as well, not as an enlisted person. But at the Air Force Academy we do the same thing. So I have been in that position and understand fully what these trainees think about this environment and how challenging it would be, you know, looking back on my time and my experience to talk about things like this. Sometimes it is very challenging. So as much as we want people to do certain things, I think we have to deal with the reality of the environment that they are in and try to think about it from their perspective. Part of this has to do with getting more feedback from trainees and looking at those barriers. I think the most important element for the decision we can make in this regard, though, has to do with trust. At the end of the day if people don't trust, either a person or the institution, there isn't anything that we are going to do in terms of training that is going to have them make that decision to take what they perceive as personal risk. So as we train our instructors in how to relate to the trainees, how we train other people within this environment to relate to trainees, who we try to ensure that they have that level of trust and confidence in within the system is a part of the work that we are undertaking. I don't have the answer today. But I know that is a place that I have got to get better at if I am going to be more successful in the future. And I think we can do a lot better. But I am not ready to tell you today that I have figured that out. The Chairman. Mr. Johnson. Mr. Johnson. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. A person who is training under a trainer and has a consensual, some might say sexual relationship, sexual intercourse, in other words, sexual intercourse with the boss, the boss might think is consensual, but what is going through the mind of the trainee is that I need to do this in order to get through training successfully. So it is a duress, it is a mental type of situation. It may not be forcible physically, but forcible mentally. And that is why if there is not one now there should be a crime that makes it a per se violation to have sexual intercourse, be it forced--be it consensual or not between an instructor and a trainee. And I think that that is probably something that Ms. Tsongas has dealt with in her bill, which I fully support. Now, a different situation between, say, a former trainer or a trainer who formerly trained someone who has made it through training and now that person is out of the dominion and control of the trainer, then there could be a consensual sexual relationship that does not equate to rape. So it might be maybe unprofessional or something like that. So I am not saying it is at all times noncriminal. But let's just say that a former trainer and a former trainee, a former trainer and a person that he trained, he or she trained at a time previously, they are in a sexual relationship but then the woman or the man, the victim might say, ``No, I don't want to do this today.'' And then it is forced on them. Okay. So that is a classic rape allegation. Classic allegation of rape or someone just took authority and just imposed themselves on a weaker individual physically. Rape. I have looked at the guidelines that--the list of commander-directed investigation recommendations, and I see nothing about training of military police in the gathering of physical evidence that would support the accused--excuse me, that would support the accuser in making the allegation of a forcible rape. Because you only have one's word against the other, no other witnesses. So you got to prove the case, prove it by some physical evidence. A rape kit is what it is generally called. Why is it that we don't make provisions for these types of cases, which I think are pretty typical, in addition to the other sexual assault cases, harassment, nonphysical activities? Why is it that we are not dealing with this issue of rape and forcible sodomy and things like that in terms of police investigation and prosecutorial ability to prosecute effectively? General Welsh. Congressman, we are. We have trained 24 Air Force officers, special investigations, special victims investigators to this point. We have just started a new class model on the Army's CID [Criminal Investigation Command] class that was advised by outside experts to put together a curriculum to focus on that type of investigation. That first class just completed this week. We had some outside experts in to give us some feedback that was objective. We will run classes through that course routinely. We sent 50 Air Force judge advocate generals and OSI agents through the Army CID course before starting this one. We will continue to further train our investigators in the skills required to better investigate these actions. My opinion is that part of the reason we have trouble with people sticking with an investigation and a prosecution, victim sticking with it, because the way they are handling the investigative cycle is so critical to them being willing to stay with their commitment to actually identifying and prosecuting an assailant. The Chairman. Gentleman's time expired. Ms. Walorski. Ms. Walorski. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I appreciate you being here. I am new, and I am shocked, and I apologize for not being here this morning. But I just want to go back to the point from General Welsh. I just want to make sure I have, talking about sexual assault in the Air Force on page 4. And it says, ``A 2010 Gallup survey revealed that since joining the Air Force, 19 percent of women and 2 percent of men experienced some degree of sexual assault. For 3.4 percent of women and 0.5 percent of men, those assaults had occurred in the 12 months preceding the survey. Of those, only about 17 percent of those women and 6 percent of the men reported the incident.'' And my question is, and I apologize, I am brand new. And this is my first hearing. I don't have the benefit of all of our veterans in the room on the committee. If I am a woman in the military and I am sexually assaulted, how do I report that? Do I pick up a phone? Is there a 911 in the military? How do I report that? Do I call from my cell phone? What generates the report? General Welsh. Any number of things. There are hotlines at every base in the military. You can tell someone in your chain of command. Everyone knows that you can go to the Inspector General, you can go to the security forces, you can go to the base hospital or clinic and ask for help there. Anywhere in that network is connected to the reporting mechanisms that then starts the activity moving forward. The problem we have is not that nobody--most people don't know who to talk to or where they could talk to, it is that they don't feel comfortable reporting. The Congressman mentioned sometimes they are concerned about them getting in trouble or somebody holding them accountable for some reason for reporting. Some of them are concerned about their family finding out, their friends finding out, their spouse finding out. Some of them are embarrassed. Some of them feel guilty about the incident. All of these things come together to create a problem where people don't feel comfortable stepping forward. It is something that we have to just work constantly. I don't have an easy answer for this one, Congresswoman. And you know, new on the job or old, you are going to be shocked every time you hear this, just like I am. Ms. Walorski. Well, do we have in the military--is there something specifically for this, because this is crime? General Welsh. Yes, ma'am. We have---- Ms. Walorski. Do we have whistleblower protection in the military? Am I protected and know that I will know that I know, say, as a female that if I am the victim of a crime in this military that I know I am protected and is there some--and I am not familiar with the hierarchy in the military to understand, but am I protected if I go and say, ``I am a victim of a crime,'' do we have whistleblower protection? General Welsh. Maybe. There is no hard, firm law that says you are protected if you come forward and report something and everybody is going to make sure that you never suffer a consequence for any action you took. I think in the past there have been many more incidents where people were held accountable for activity that was involved in or around an event where they became a victim. That is unacceptable. You heard General Rice mention in this particular case none of the victims have been held accountable, made to feel like they were guilty of anything. That is the way it has to be going forward. We have a sexual assault response coordinator at every organization. They are trained and certified to know how to handle these situations. As soon as we find out through any part of this reporting chain that we have a victim, the victim is contacted by the sexual assault response coordinator and all these things that we can help provide are available to them. Not just law enforcement or investigative stuff. That is the last thing we want to worry about at that first contact. It is the personal care, the counseling, the healthcare, the forensic exam if required. Ms. Walorski. I appreciate it. So if when I call and report that incident, am I matched with--is it gender-to-gender reports? Am I reporting--if I am raped, am I reporting to a women? General Welsh. In every case you would not be. Anecdotally, the majority of our SARCs are women. But, anecdotally, no, that is not the case everywhere. Ms. Walorski. And what is the ratio--I think somebody asked earlier but I am not sure, I just simply don't know--what is the ratio of basic military instructors--and I don't know all your acronyms, I apologize--but if you are a basic military instructor, what is the chance--how many women versus men, percentage-wise, do we have in the Air Force? General Rice. It is about 11 percent women. We are moving to 25 percent. General Welsh. Air Force-wide, about 19 percent women. Ms. Walorski. Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. The Chairman. Mr. Enyart. Mr. Enyart. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, General Rice, would you agree with me that the command chiefs with the commander set the command climate of a unit? General Rice. I think command chiefs are an integral part of that. But I believe it is fundamentally the commander's responsibility to maintain the command climate within a unit. Mr. Enyart. And the command chief relays, is the interface between enlisted folks, the NCOs, and the commander. Is that person not? General Rice. Certainly, yes. A critical link between the commander and the airmen within the unit. Mr. Enyart. General Rice, I would like to know how many female command chiefs do you have at Lackland Air Force Base and how many do you have in the recruiting command? General Rice. I can't give you an exact number. I would like to take that for the record, please. Mr. Enyart. I would like to have that information back. Thank you. [The information referred to can be found in the Appendix on page 191.] Mr. Enyart. General Rice, can you tell me what is the accessibility that a female basic military trainee has to reaching out to a female command chief? General Rice. No, I can't give you an exact answer to that question. I would answer it this way: We have a number of females who are in the instructor or staff or supervisory or command positions. We are moving to a place where we have more females in those positions. I don't select commanders based on their gender, I don't select command chiefs based on their gender. I do believe at the military training instructor level that the team that is responsible for a flight of 50 trainees should include one female. But beyond that we have not made another determination to make assignments of leadership positions based on gender. Mr. Enyart. Have you in any way, General Rice, empowered your command chiefs to deal with this problem that seems to be happening--or seems to have been happening; I am sure that it is not happening now--but have you empowered your command chiefs to act with this? And, if so, how? General Rice. No. So at my level I have not taken any direct action to specifically empower command chiefs other than making it mandatory that the rank of the command chief is no longer a Senior Master Sergeant, but a Chief Master Sergeant, which is not a trivial matter. I believe you understand, based on your background, the significance of that. But, fundamentally, I have to depend on a commander to use the resources that I have provided to him or her to maintain a proper command environment. And it is up to that commander to use those resources, whether it is a first sergeant, whether it is a command chief, whether it is an operations officer, whether it is a supervisor or anybody else, to use that combination of resources in a unique way, because every commander is different, to maintain good order and discipline and the proper command environment. And I think it is problematic if I start to dictate how they put that team of people together. Mr. Enyart. I would agree with you that it may well be problematic for you to do that. But I think you have a problem, don't you, that needs to be dealt with. I would suggest that having dealt with those kind of problems in my previous career, that by setting the proper command climates you can resolve those problems. And an inherent way of doing that is empowering and relying our command chiefs, and by that I am talking about the E9s, the chief master sergeants, to aid the commander in ensuring that the NCOs, and every one of those TIs [training instructor] is an NCO, those NCOs fully understand the commander's intent. I will yield the balance of my time. The Chairman. Dr. Heck. Dr. Heck. Thank you, Mr. Chair. Thank you both for being here and for your service. We have heard a lot of discussion about the climate and what is being done to encourage individual victims to report without fear of retribution. And, General Rice, you talked about much of the training that goes on to try to impart the knowledge of how to report and what to report. I can tell you that as a military commander I know well those training programs, both basic and recurring. And the problem is, whether it is EO [equal opportunity], or consideration of others, or prevention of sexual harassment, they seem to become stagnant PowerPoints where people are sitting in a classroom with eyes glazed over. Now, these programs have been going on for years. Yet these incidents have occurred even while training programs have been put forward. How do you judge the effectiveness of those training programs that are supposed to be providing those initial entry service members or those that are on the front lines going through their annual recurrent trainings on these topics to make sure that they understand? Because it seems that the training that we did--it is not the Air Force, I am an Army guy--the training we do across the Services isn't resonating. I mean, these incidents continue despite this ongoing initial entry and recurrent training. So how are we going to assess the training programs we have out there to try to stem the tide of these sexual assaults and associated sexual incidents? General Welsh. Fantastic question, sir, thank you, exactly the question we are trying to answer right now. I mentioned before the volumes of training and education programs that we have had in place for years and we continue to keep in place, and we have added more. Every time we have an incident, we add more. All the Services do this. The question is which ones are having an impact. Expand those, emphasize those; get rid of the rest of them and quit wasting resources on them, wasting people's time that could be better spent in a different way attacking this problem. We have talked to experts who are advising us on this topic. The one thing they told me got my attention, because I am more interested in seeing if it works quickly and then dumping it if we can't tell that it does and trying something else, the experts said, you have got to be a little bit careful about that. Because some of these things you won't know the impact until you give them time to work. Some of them are institutional education changes and it takes a while. So the trickiest part for us right now is figuring out which ones do we stick with, and the ones we stick with we have to refresh, we have to modernize, we have to make them applicable to our young workforce, we have to put scenarios on YouTube, we have to do things, you know, TED [Technology, Entertainment and Design] Talks. We have to do the kinds of things that will attract them. Generally, that is scenario-based training and education. It is not PowerPoint, go home and look at it on the computer. That is not going to help. And so that is the type of effort we are focused on right now. How do we energize this training and bring it down to a personal level, not sitting in the back of the room with 500 of your closest friends sleeping through the latest sexual assault awareness training. Dr. Heck. I am encouraged by that approach. And I hope it works and I hope that you share it with our sister Services. I can tell you far too often we have become more about training to time than to standard and it is about sitting a classroom and watching the slides go by for 30 minutes regardless of the information that is being absorbed by the person sitting in the chair. So I applaud your efforts in trying to do some comprehensive assessment of what does work and making sure we push that out across the Services. Thank you. I yield back, Mr. Chair. The Chairman. Gentleman yields back. Mrs. Noem. Mrs. Noem. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I appreciate it. General Welsh, I have a question I believe should be directed towards you. How are the victims that were involved in this investigation at Lackland Air Force Base currently being cared for by the United States Air Force? General Welsh. Thank you, ma'am. This is maybe the most important question of the day. They are being cared for as well as they possibly can. Fifty-nine victims all were offered whatever level of support we could provide them. Fifty-seven of them accepted some level of assistance, whether it was healthcare, counseling, legal assistance, whatever it might be. General Rice can give you more of the details, the types of things they accepted. I am not fully aware of that. We have tried to do everything we can with them. We offered them the new special victims counsel. Although it is not in place yet, we did offer some of them that in advance of the initial capability date because we knew there were trials coming up and wanted to them through that. Some of them took advantage of that. Anything that we can think to do to help them, sadly, after the fact we are trying to do. Mrs. Noem. Thank you. General Rice, could you shed some light on why some of these victims chose not to exercise every opportunity to get care and counseling from the United States Air Force? General Rice. I think there are a variety of reasons, as I have gotten feedback, it goes from some of them do not consider themselves victims. And so they have not wanted to have support. Others have considered the level of victimization, if you will, such that they don't require support. And others have made more full use of the support mechanisms that we have. So each one of these is at a very individual case, an individual decision. I am confident that we have made a good-faith effort to offer the support and to conduct the investigations in a way that we have tried not to revictimize the victims. We have tried to honor their requests, if they have said, you know, please, I just want to sort of move on here. I do think, and it is something that I have talked to my team about, just as we have found out that oftentimes the initial answer to, did something happen to you is no, that if we reapproach people in a different way over time, that we can get them to develop a sufficient level of trust that they will be more accurate with us; that because a victim said no, I don't need any help, that we should go back at some appropriate time interval and reask and reoffer that assistance, because time does change people's perceptions of this. So we need to find the right way and time to do that, but I have that on my list of things to do here. Mrs. Noem. We have had a lot of discussion here today about lack of reporting, unwillingness to report incidents as they happen, and I think that right now every single airman is watching this situation, and watching our victims to see how they are being treated, and making decisions on whether to future report, to report on incidents that could be going on right now, or could go on in the future, that you are building a reputation right now on how you respond to these victims, and it will determine your success on getting more accountability, on getting more reporting of airmen being willing to come forward and talk about what may or may not be happening. So just know that as we work our way through this painful process and try to bring a resolution and improvement to it, that there are a lot of eyes on you, and there are a lot of eyes on how we are caring for the current victims that we have, and that we have an opportunity here to really do the best that we can to take care of them. I have looked at some of these recommendations that have come forward and I just have a specific question about one or two of them, depending on how much time I have. One of the recommendations was A19 which says: Shorten the MTI tour lengths to a maximum of 3 years, and do not allow follow-on special duty assignments. Were the MTIs that were perpetuating these crimes or assaults against the victims there for longer periods of time? Did they have a longer service rate in their position that they held? Is that why this recommendation has been accepted? General Rice. We did have some that were there for longer than 3 or 4 years. Typically, you won't serve as a military training instructor for that long. You will move on to a supervisory position, so that recommendation is less about serving as a military training instructor, than it is consistent participation in the whole process. So the idea is you serve one and then you move on to something else. Mrs. Noem. My concern was that I read this, and I assumed that some of the perpetuators potentially were in these positions too long, and that maybe the climate within that position as they were there for a long period of time, developed an attitude or an environment where they felt as though it was more acceptable the longer they were there. I guess that is the answer that I am looking for is there is no consistency on length of time in that position from the perpetuators? General Rice. No. Mrs. Noem. Okay. Thank you for that. I appreciate that. I will yield back, chairman. The Chairman. Gentlemen, that concludes the questions we have for the first panel. Thank you very much for the work you are doing. And we will excuse you and move to the second panel. Thank you. The Chairman. Can we please clear the witness table? We need to get the next panel up, thank you. We have now--what timing. This is the call for our last series of votes for the day. But let's try to get as far as we can before we leave. We have on our second panel, David Lisak. Mr. Lisak. Lisak. The Chairman. Lisak, forensic consultant; Chief Master Sergeant Cindy McNally, United States Air Force, retired, with the Service Women's Action Network; and Technical Sergeant Jennifer Norris, U.S. Air Force, retired, from Protect Our Defenders. Mr. Lisak. STATEMENT OF DR. DAVID LISAK, PH.D., FORENSIC CONSULTANT Dr. Lisak. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, Ranking Member Smith, and thank you to the committee for giving me this opportunity to speak to you this morning. I am a clinical psychologist, a researcher, and a forensic consultant. For the past 25 years, I have studied rapists and I have treated and evaluated men and women who suffered sexual violence. For the past 10 years, I have worked extensively with the four Services of the U.S. military and simultaneously in the civilian sector, I have worked with dozens of universities across the United States, and numerous law enforcement agencies and with State and local prosecutors. My extensive contact with both military and civilian institutions across the country, provides me with a perspective on the problem of sexual violence that I would like to articulate to this committee. Sexual violence afflicts all nations and all societies. Societies are not distinguished by whether or not they have a problem of sexual violence, but rather by whether or not they actively and forthrightly confront the problem. The same is true for institutions within those societies. It is perhaps a little ironic, given the testimony that you have been hearing today, but in almost every respect, the U.S. military is doing more to confront sexual violence than any other institution in the United States. Nevertheless, despite their efforts, there are serious problems within the Services that have either yet to be addressed or yet to be fully resolved. It will require many, many years of sustained effort and commitment to resolve these problems, and therefore, many, many years of sustained scrutiny by this committee, by Congress more generally, and by advocacy groups, some of which are represented here today. However, the scrutiny and criticism of the military very often implies that its problems and shortcomings are somehow unique. In my opinion, this is not only grossly inaccurate, it also is a serious disservice to our country because it lets other institutions in this country off the hook. And in so doing, it puts the men and women in those institutions and communities at far greater risk of sexual violence. Specifically, our universities have not confronted their problems of sexual violence with anything like the commitment shown in the Services. There are a few exceptions, however, in no university have I ever seen the type of commitment from leadership, the comprehensive prevention efforts, the sustained efforts at tackling the very challenging problems that I have witnessed in the Services. Perhaps the most scathing criticism that the military has received has been focused on the shortcomings in prosecuting cases of sexual violence. Again, I believe that this criticism is necessary. However, our country would be well served if the criticism of the military's prosecution record was placed in the context of the civilian prosecution of sexual violence. With rare exceptions, again, there are enormous problems with the prosecution of nonstranger sexual assaults in civilian jurisdictions. Nonstranger cases represent the vast majority of all sexual assaults. They are challenging cases to investigate and prosecute, and very few civilian jurisdictions have made the necessary efforts to train their staffs to competently and effectively take on these cases. As a result, many nonstranger cases are inadequately investigated and never even taken to a courtroom. Many local prosecutors fail to prosecute the types of nonstranger cases that military prosecutors are now increasingly taking to court. The Services are making efforts, and you heard reference to some of these this morning, to increase the effectiveness of their criminal justice response to sexual violence. As just one example, and I think this was mentioned already, the Army has developed a 2-week course to train investigators in state-of-the-art techniques for investigating nonstranger sexual assault cases and 440 investigators are now being trained each year. This is an example of one of the much- needed improvements that needs to take case place in the military's criminal justice response to sexual assault, but it will take time for these improvements to take hold and be felt. And there is much, much more work to be done. Improved training for investigators and military prosecutors must continue to evolve and it must be sustained. The Services must confront the problem of junior litigators handling complex sexual assault cases far too early in their professional development. Unhelpful biases and attitudes are still present among some investigators, prosecutors, and commanders, and these must be addressed through a process of culture change that I think has been already stated will be a permanent process. I hope that my testimony will not be taken here either as an apology for the military's handling of sexual assault, or as yet another criticism of its efforts. Based on my experience, working with the Services, both very good and very bad things are still happening. This is the reality in an institution that is undergoing significant and meaningful change, and I suspect it will be a reality for some years to come. It is impossible to average these good and bad things. They are simply both true. If the Services sustain their efforts, if Congress continues to provide clear-eyed scrutiny, and crucially, if Congress provides the resources that the Services need to sustain their efforts, I believe that the United States military will lead the rest of the country in demonstrating what it means to confront sexual violence honestly and with sustained commitment. Thank you very much. The Chairman. Thank you. [The prepared statement of Dr. Lisak can be found in the Appendix on page 74.] The Chairman. Thank you. Sergeant McNally. STATEMENT OF CMSGT CINDY MCNALLY, USAF (RET.), SERVICE WOMEN'S ACTION NETWORK Sergeant McNally. Good afternoon, chairman, and thank you members of the committee. I sit before you today having experienced sexual assault in the Air Force from multiple perspectives; first, as a survivor of sexual assault when I was a young airman; second, as an enlisted troop who has spent her entire career as an aircraft maintainer; and third, as a retired Chief Master Sergeant who has supervised 1,500 enlisted troops as a maintenance group superintendent. I have had direct dealings with all of the personnel issues that come with supervising people in today's Air Force, and I will be sharing that perspective with you today. I enlisted in the Air Force in 1975 and was assigned to a WAF squadron, a Women in the Air Force squadron at Lackland Air Force Base. At that time, women trainees were segregated from men both physically and in our course curriculum. Following basic training, I attended technical training at Chanute Air Force Base where I began my integration into the Air Force. It was there that I was sexually assaulted by two of my instructors. I reported the incident, believing that my leaders would handle it, and that didn't happen. I knew then that I would never, ever report another sexual assault. In fact, a year later at my first assignment, I was sexually assaulted again. I did not report it, nor did I ever discuss either of these two incidences until after I retired 28 years later and was being treated for PTSD [post-traumatic stress disorder]. While many things have changed in the Air Force since I enlisted, the trauma of sexual assault has not changed. It feels like someone has reached into you, and sucked the soul right out of you. It is traumatic, and it is ugly. And for those of us who have survived it, we do so because of our strength and our will to overcome what could otherwise be a crippling episode in our lives. I remain in the Air Force, proud of my service, however. The reason I served far outweighed any single incident in my life. This was my choice. I also served alongside the Nation's finest in an Air Force where honor, integrity, and service before self are a way of life. Our job as enlisted leaders is to find the standard and make everyone absolutely understand that we have no problem removing anybody in a blink of an eye if they cross that standard. And maybe that is where General Rice and I somewhat disagree. I believe the enlisted leaders are one of the most important people in the military to stop this epidemic. To me, the sexual assault cases at Lackland demonstrate what happens when leadership fails. Basic training is where our sons and daughters are at their very vulnerable. The power that military training instructors, or TIs, have over airmen is perceived as absolute. Turning young men and women from all over our country into airmen is a transformational process where the TI represents the sole success of that transformation. Turning to female leaders when assaults have occurred is not always an answer. The true yardstick for an effective leader has nothing to do with their gender. I have worked with many men who have set a stringent work environment where all airmen are free from harassment and a threatening workplace. The NCOs in the chain of command have an overarching duty to take care of their troops. Doing what is right is genderless. I have followed closely the recommended actions in the midst of Lackland's disgrace, and I discussed some of these with SWAN [Service Women's Action Network], and I have had the privilege of talking to General Woodward. And I applaud her for her efforts in looking into these issues. I believe the following steps that are being taken will have a positive effect on the training environment at Lackland. I agree we should increase the number of female MTIs to at least the percentage that they are in the Air Force. All basic training students should be exposed to both male and female NCOs. This is, after all, who will be leading them. Increasing instructor-to-student ratio is an absolute must. I was shocked to find out that the TI-to-student ratio was roughly the same as when I went through basic training 35 years ago. A reasonable student-to-instructor ratio is education 101. I also agree with the requirement to raise the rank of MTIs. Technical Sergeants and Master Sergeants are seasoned leaders and have a good deal of experience in deterring, identifying, and taking action. However, a nonvoluntary TI assignment didn't work before, and it won't work now. I have had troops who viewed TI duty as the death knell for their career. That needs to change to attract the type of people suited to train our next generation of leaders. Incentives to attract the best of the best is the answer, not nonvoluntary duty assignments. Additionally, I do not believe women should be segregated. We train as we fight, one team. Segregation in training did more harm than good in attempts to integrate us into the Air Force. We want to be viewed as airmen first and you cannot do that coming from a segregated unit. Our own history with racial integration should tell us that. For larger solutions, we need to look at integrating women completely into the Armed Forces. Remove the combat exclusion policy. Then we will be a fully integrated force. Being able to do the job should be the standard, not whether you are male or female. I believe that as leaders we took our eye off the ball. We enabled a climate where our troops became vulnerable, and we can train and train, but in the end, it is about leadership. We draw the line on what is acceptable behavior, define it, and enforce it. I don't believe we can legislate leadership, but we can certainly have you hold our leaders responsible and legally liable for the welfare of their troops. That is an absolute must. In the maintenance career field where all our leaders are passionate about doing what is right to protect our pilots while they fly, our leaders need to feel as passionate about protecting our troops as they do the flying mission. You cannot minimize risks to zero, but leaders can and better make sure they are there to make the right decision and do the right thing. Our troops demand nothing less. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. [The prepared statement of Sergeant McNally can be found in the Appendix on page 139.] The Chairman. The vote is just about at an end, and I have to recess the committee at this time to give everybody an opportunity to vote. We will vote, and return. It will be, it looks like, at least a half-hour. Thank you. [Recess.] Dr. Heck. [Presiding.] We will call the meeting of the House Armed Services Committee back to order. Thank you for your understanding as we ran across to cast our votes. I am sure other Members will be coming back shortly. At this time we would like to recognize Technical Sergeant Norris for her testimony. STATEMENT OF TSGT JENNIFER NORRIS, USAF (RET.), PROTECT OUR DEFENDERS Sergeant Norris. Thank you for having me. I am Jennifer Norris. I am an Air Force veteran, wife to my dear husband Lee, national advocate for the Military Rape Crisis Center, and Protect Our Defenders Advocacy board member. Protect Our Defenders is a place for survivors to build community, amplify our voices, support one another, and take collective action. It is with heavy heart that I appear here. I speak not only for myself, but for the thousands of survivors whose lives were forever altered by this epidemic, a culture that punishes the victim in a broken justice system. I want to recognize the service members who have not survived due to murder or suicide, and their families who are still waiting for answers. Last August I stood outside these doors with fellow veterans and survivors. We delivered a petition asking you to open an investigation into the Lackland scandal and its causes. There were 30 victims. Now, there are at least 59. Since August, the DOD estimates roughly 10,000 more men and women in uniform have been assaulted. We hope this hearing is the start of fundamental reform to remove bias, conflict of interest, and opportunity for abusive authority that precludes justice. We ask that this be the first in a series of hearings to fully explore the reasons Lackland and similar abuses are occurring and what must be done to prevent them. As the San Antonio Express-News put it, congressional hearings look at the systemic failings that trials cannot and reinforce the concept of civilian oversight. Both are needed. Core issues must be addressed. The committee should hear from current Lackland victims and from independent experts on issues of victim treatment in the military justice system. The cycle of repeated scandals, self-investigations, and ineffective reforms must be broken. Because no victims from the current scandal have been invited to testify, I will share one of their stories from the local press. ``A young Air Force recruit who said her basic training instructor sexually assaulted her testified. After 2 months of obeying his orders, she was frightened to protest his advances in a dark supply room. The defense asked the woman if she resisted Estacio's advances. `I was too scared to,' she replied. `Sometimes when somebody is too scared to talk, does that mean that they want to do something?' '' A military judge found Estacio not guilty of sexually assaulting the trainee, allowing the instructor to face a maximum 1-year prison sentence. Her story is very similar to mine. When I joined, I was a 24-year old, a small-town girl, with idyllic childhood. Soon, I was raped and assaulted by superiors. Sergeant Norris. Two of the predators pled guilty to sexual assault. They were honorably discharged with full benefits. By not dealing with a culture that provides easy targets for predators, we are hurting our military and our society. The predators often appear to be great troops, achieve high rank, are very charismatic and manipulative. But that is only part of the problem. The military justice system elevates an individual's discretion over the rule of law. Too often, the commanders' go-to solution is to sweep the problem under the rug and kick the victim out. Often, legislative reforms are inconsistently applied, unnecessarily encumbered, or just not implemented. In my work as an advocate, it breaks my heart to see the same problems today that existed when I joined 16 years ago-- sorry--39 percent of female victims report their perpetrator was of higher rank, and 23 percent report it was someone in their chain of command. The Air Force's Lackland report and previous reports indicate a failure of leadership. How many more times must Congress hear this before enacting fundamental reform? Why didn't the Air Force interview the victims to determine if they tried to report or feared reporting, and why? According to the DOD's own data, 47 percent of service members are afraid to report because of the reprisals that occur. This isn't just an Air Force problem, it is Service- wide. Many Secretaries of Defense have declared a zero-tolerance policy. Yet recent actions challenge that notion. In September, Secretary Panetta proposed the President sign an executive order which would have eviscerated the military's Rape Shield Rule. In 2011, the military argued in court that rape is incident to service. Had I known this, that the military dismisses rape as an occupational hazard, I would never have joined. According to The L.A. [Los Angeles] Times in 1992, in response to the Tailhook Scandal, ``Several lawmakers proposed stripping the armed services of their role in probing sexual molestation cases.'' The deference and patience that Congress has shown the DOD has come at great cost to our service members, our security, and ultimately, our society. Retired Brigadier General Loree Sutton recently said, ``The only credible solution is an independent special victims unit completely outside the unit chain of command under professional civilian oversight.'' And I agree. I ask you, as our elected representatives, please, please don't let this wait. God bless our brave men and women in uniform. [The prepared statement of Sergeant Norris can be found in the Appendix on page 146.] Dr. Heck. I want to thank all of you for your testimony. And thank you, Tech Sergeant, for your courage to be here today and to tell us your story. Certainly, acts of sexual assault under any conditions are especially heinous. But when committed by those in position of power and under color of authority, they are especially reprehensible. And we certainly appreciate you taking the time to be here today. This question is to Ms. McNally, Ms. Norris. The DOD and the military services have taken a number of steps, albeit maybe not enough, to develop, assess, and refine their respective sexual assault prevention and response programs. As individuals who are regularly involved with providing or coordinating care and other services for victims of these violent crimes, such as sexual assault, what do you consider to be the trademarks of a good response program? I will go to the Chief first. Sergeant McNally. Thank you. One of the first things that I think that has been a big problem is understating why we go unreported. And I know--I could see that the generals were putting their arms around this very same thing trying to explain that. And I can tell you speaking for myself and for some of the victims that I have supervised over the years that they don't report it because, number one, it is so traumatic, it is so ugly, and they know that it will be public knowledge. And so the number one fear, and no matter how compassionate you are, that this will go out. And how could I have let this happen to me? You know, the men have the same response when they are sexually assaulted. So the number one thing is something very personal, very ugly, very traumatic is going to be public knowledge. That is one of the biggest fears. The second thing is that it is a ``he said, she said.'' And unless you see evidence that commanders have removed, removed from the Service, with consequences, anybody who enables an environment that allows harassment to even start, then you have no trust in your system. You have to see evidence. You know, not whack-a-mole responses to whatever crisis comes up in the sexual assault thing. And, finally, is the--you know, we have the ``he said, she said,'' and then we have what everyone likes to use the word ``accountability,'' and I think that is thrown around a lot. That just means we moved them to another assignment. He needs to be responsible, they need to be held liable. So these are basically the three reasons why people don't report sexual assault. Until they understand that, they cannot present a viable sexual response, you know, sexual assault response program in any place, whether it be in the Air Force or in college. I mean, that is a fundamental thing you have got to get your arms around and understand. They should not come to you. You should be out there talking to them, you know talking to your troops. And commanders can't do that. The senior enlisted can do that, the commanders can't do that. Dr. Heck. Tech Sergeant, anything to add? Sergeant Norris. I provided you with my personal testimony to give you a little bit of background so that we didn't have to go into detail. But, unfortunately, the rape and the three different other predators who assaulted me, it all occurred within the first 2 years of my career. And for those who have served in the military, you recognize quickly that rank does come with privileges. Meaning, when you are lower in enlisted, you are that guy, or girl. And you are new to the institution. So you haven't been able to establish the credibility necessary to make a claim against someone that has been there for 18 years and appears to be the best friend or the right-hand man of the commander. You are stuck. If you want a career, you don't want to say anything. Because you get retaliated against. You get thrown out, you get beat up. And that is what we need to stop. We need to remove the chain of command from the reporting process. It is absolutely detrimental to us being able to report safely. And if you think about it, it is actually good for the perpetrator too. Not that I stand up for them, by any means. But a fair process would be a fair process for both. So think about it. Commander, 18-year veteran, Active Duty guy, just raped me. And I know he is your buddy and best friend and he has had your back this whole time. I know, I just entered and I am just a little old E1. But. Just wanted to let you know. It doesn't work that way. You are too scared to tell the commander because, first of all, it is alleged, in every case. Very much of a trigger for me. Second of all, others start to think that, ``Oh, no, you better be careful around that girl because she might just say that you sexually assaulted her.'' And so you almost become a leper. And because of the small community within a squadron, the rumor mill starts flying. The victim doesn't want to talk about what happened. I didn't want to tell anybody what happened to me aside from the commander because he was the only person I had to go to. I wanted it kept confidential. I was ashamed. I was embarrassed. I couldn't believe that it happened. And continued to happen and pushed me to the point where I was forced to report, to prevent another rape. So this small-squadron business where they are putting the commanders in charge, I am not saying every commander's a bad man or a bad woman. You know. What I am saying is that to put that decisionmaking authority in one person's hands, that is a lot to ask not only of the commander, but also for the rest of us. You know, he decides one thing, I don't agree with it. What recourse do I have? None. So if they decide they don't want to believe you, have fun with that. Dr. Heck. Thank you. Dr. Lisak, based on your experience in both the military and civilian sectors, is it your view that the U.S. military is doing worse than civilian institutions when it comes to the investigation and prosecution of sexual assault cases? And in your view, what are the areas in the military's response to sexual violence that need the most attention and improvement? Dr. Lisak. Well, this is one of those things that is really impossible to average. There are several civilian jurisdictions that are doing quite good work in both investigating and prosecuting non-stranger sexual assaults, but they are really exceptions. By and large, it is a pretty bad picture. Likewise, in the Services, there are some good things that have started to happen in terms of better training, both for investigators and for JAG officers. It may be too soon to see much of the impact of that. I hear a little bit from--I just did a training of Army JAG officers and have begun to hear them say that they are seeing better CID reports. That is encouraging. It is very anecdotal, but if you started hearing that more and more, that would certainly be encouraging. About 3 months ago, I consulted on a court-martial. And it was probably an anomaly in that things went really well. Everything went well. Everybody did their jobs really well. What I value that experience for is it told me that it is possible, that if you have both JAG officers and OSI agents and the judge, the military judge, who are well-trained, who understand the issues, that this is a process that can be respectful to victims, can be respectful to the rights of the accused, and can handle even the complexities of the nonstranger sexual assault well. And there was a good outcome, from my perspective. There was a conviction and a good sentence. So it is possible. It is still, obviously, happening rarely. And I would hope that if the training that has begun is sustained, that we will see more of that. I also hope that if you see more of that, that some of what has just been described here is that we will begin to see incremental change in the level of trust in the system. Which would lead, hopefully, to more victims being willing to report. Dr. Heck. Thank you. Thank you. Ms. Davis. Ms. Davis. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and thank you all for being here. I am sorry I missed the first part of your testimony. But, Tech Sergeant Norris, I really appreciate what you said. Because in many ways, you capture this incredible dilemma that we are facing. And if I may, Mr. Chairman, I just wanted to follow up briefly. Because I had asked about what we were able to capture, really, from the MTIs that were spoken to at Lackland. We had an opportunity to speak to several of the whistleblowers. And they were very clear about what they felt should be some key recommendations. And I am just disappointed and I wanted to include this in the record that the response came back about MTIs generally. And I believe that the generals--I think that they knew and I, you know, have great respect, but I think we were talking about whistleblower MTIs. And to our knowledge, they actually still have not been spoken to. And I think the people who were willing to come forward, because this very issue of sort of seeing through the good guys and being able to say, hey, you know, it is not all that it appears. Which is what many of the victims grapple with. I think we are doing a better job training prosecutors. And we have had an opportunity to hear some of that evolution of the way that we do that. But it is still a big problem. And I wanted to ask, because I must say, I have been reluctant to take this out of the chain of command. Because everything else is in the chain of command. And for us to pull this out in some way says that we don't believe that our officers are capable of dealing with this issue. So I wanted to just come back and ask, of the--you know, testimony that we had, and I often think that it is better to go with this kind of testimony and then follow up, frankly, what is it that you heard that was helpful that you think is moving forward well and what really was problematic? Because what we are interested here is what is the most effective, what will change the culture and change the ability of people to have any trust in it. So if you could respond to that, that would be helpful, and if you want to start. Sergeant Norris. Yes, ma'am. Are you talking about when I was listening to General Welsh and General Rice? Ms. Davis. Yes, if you would like to respond to that. Sergeant Norris. I had a very difficult time listening to General Welsh and General Rice today. Not only because of my own experience, but also because of what is happening to this day. This morning, I got a call from a client that is in the Air Force that we are having issues with. So it is--despite what General Rice and General Welsh are saying, which could very likely be very genuine, and they really do care, they are basically putting their trust in each individual commander to do the right thing. And in my eyes, that means, okay, commander, you are judge, jury, and executioner. You make the decisions. And what is happening is, is our commanders, depending on who they are, and even whether they are even, you know, schooled in this, I mean, it was hard for me to understand the whole thing and I was a victim of it. What we are finding is that the commanders aren't always giving people the right information in addition to even dealing with it. So they are not saying, okay, okay, maybe we need to go contact OSI and do something about this. They have the ability to stop it right there. Just by saying a couple things. All it would take is for a commander to say, Well, this is alleged. Or, Well, it is a ``he said, she said,'' for a victim to pretty much fall apart and decide I don't trust you, and I don't trust anybody and I am not doing anything with this. Me personally, I am a spitball. I am a spitball of fire. And I fought back on every single thing. Because I knew that in America, there is basic constitutional rights that include males and females. We are equal. So why is it that commanders in the military are given this special position that in society, we have civilian courts, we have supreme courts, we have the ability to appeal, we have all these different options available to us, but in the military, we have one person that may or may not help you. Ms. Davis. If I may go to Dr. Lisak, from your experience as well, looking at this in a beyond the military, what is your sense of this, again, in terms of pulling that out from the military accountability? Dr. Lisak. Well, I guess I have to preface what I say with a major caveat, which is, I am not an attorney and I don't view myself as anything close to an expert on military justice system, so this is purely from my own experience and just anecdotally. I recognize that what has been very articulately posed here is a significant problem. And I think a solution has to be found to that. The Services are clearly trying to solve it with training. I don't have a crystal ball. I don't know whether in 25 years, if we can wait that long, whether that will work or whether in 25 years we will have another hearing like this, you know, and be looking for another solution. I wish I could. Because it is clear, you know, even not being an expert, I can tell that this is a major decision to make. And it can have all kinds of repercussions, many of which we can't anticipate and some of which could be pretty harmful. So it is a serious decision to be made. I guess my only contribution could be that, yes, this is a very serious problem. And what was, you know, described so perfectly that when you have--you know, we all want victims to come forward. If they don't come forward, not only can we not provide them with the Services we want, but we cannot go after those predators. You know, the justice system can't work, nothing works. And yet we haven't earned their trust. And how do you earn their trust when the command structure is--it is a very incestuous place. And you are asking victims to come forward to somebody who has a tremendous amount of power over them. So how we resolve that, I don't know. And I don't want to pretend that I do. Other than you are hearing that this is a serious problem that we have to find some solution for. Ms. Davis. I know we have to move on. Did you have a comment would you like to--did you want to respond to this issue? Ms. McNally. I think the first thing we need to look at is a change in culture. We set out--one of the things that we did was we had the command directive look at inappropriate material in the workplaces. That was directed by the Secretary of the Air Force. What we didn't say was, you had notice and commanders ignored you. We found this much material, then, generals, why did the commanders ignore you? I mean, if you have a good grasp for the culture, then why are they blowing you off? You know. When you start at the beginning. I mean, you know, I would have been down at the base removing the commander. After a month's notice, he knew we were coming. And they had videos of inappropriate behavior. We are not taking action on existing issues that we have right now. Ms. Davis. Thank you. Dr. Heck. Ms. Speier. Ms. Speier. Mr. Chairman, thank you. Let me say to all of you, I really apologize for the fact that so many of the members had to leave, many of them having to catch planes and the like. I would agree with Congresswoman Davis that it would have been appropriate to have you speak first so that it would have allowed for the generals to recognize what we are talking about here, more specifically. To you, Retired Sergeant McNally, you are absolutely right. There was an actual notice that went out at the Air Force: We are going to come through, we are going to see whether or not you have got sexual-harassing documentation in your cubicle, on your computer. Not your--by the way, not your laptops, but just the main servers. And after a month's notice they collected 32,000--32,000 inappropriate documents. So your point is well taken. Mr. Chairman, I want to introduce one other victim who was not one of the--or survivors, I should say--was not one of those who testified. Jessica Hinves is here. Jessica, would you stand up for a moment? Jessica was an airman. She was raped. She reported the rape in 2009. So this is not an old case, this is a recent case. She was told that it was going to be investigated, it was going to go to court-martial. Two days before it was going to go to the court-martial, a new commander came into town, and that commander has the authority to dismiss the prosecution and ordered the court-martial to be abandoned. That is what is wrong with the system. Certain individuals have power that far exceed what it should be. And if you can basically stop a court-martial after all of that has taken place, you don't have the kind of independence to look at these cases. And that is what is so frustrating to so many of us. Thank you, Jessica. Dr. Lisak, you spoke earlier and talked about your work with the military, and it has been over 10 years. And I got the impression that you were basically saying that, you know, things are looking pretty good. And while, you know, there is probably more work that should be done, it is better than it is in the civilian arena, and so I would like for you to just comment on that a little more specifically. Dr. Lisak. Sure, thank you. Well, I am sorry I gave the impression that I think things are looking pretty good. Anything but. I was comparing the military's performance to the performance in the civilian sector in both the local district attorneys and our universities sort of similar populations. And compared to that, the military looks pretty good. But that really is as much if not more a comment about how bad things are in the civilian world. I don't disagree with anything that has been said here in terms of the really profound problems that the Services have. I do see the Services making efforts that I don't see in the civilian world. And I see little bits and pieces of evidence that some of those efforts are bearing fruit. And that gives me some hope. Ms. Speier. Let me ask you another question. You have done a lot of research, and you have profiled sexual predators, if I am not mistaken. Is that correct? Dr. Lisak. I studiously do not use the word ``profile.'' Ms. Speier. Okay. You have studied them. Dr. Lisak. Yes. Ms. Speier. And you have studied them in the military. And my understanding is that it is not unusual to have these individuals, who I will call sexual predators, be exemplary soldiers. And beyond being exemplary soldiers, being soldiers that also are very good at identifying targets that are ripe for the preying. Is that correct? Dr. Lisak. That is correct. Ms. Speier. Alright. So one of the things that happens in the military is you can have as a mitigating factor the fact that you have good military character. That is a mitigating factor. So we can reduce--even though this is a felony, even though this is a crime, if you have been an exemplary soldier, then we are going to reduce the sentence. Because we don't have sentence guidelines in the military either. So I would actually disagree with you on a lot of counts, as compared to the civilian society where we do have sentencing guidelines, where there is a Rape Shield Law and where there is an appeal process and where there is independence, none of which exists in the military. But knowing that, don't we have a greater obligation in the military to make sure that these individuals that prey on victims, trainees in this case, over and over again, get taken out? Dr. Lisak. You mean---- Ms. Speier. I mean taken out of the military. I don't mean taken out. Dr. Lisak. Well, I certainly agree with you that the only solution--if you have identified a predator and you have a-- some kind of judicial process that--the research is very clear that there is very little that can be done to rehabilitate predators. And that for the protection of the community, whether it is the military or the university or the civilian community, these individuals have to be isolated from the community, basically. Ms. Speier. Thank you. My time has expired. Dr. Heck. Thank you. Ms. Duckworth. Ms. Duckworth. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. So Dr. Lisak, the question I have for you is dealing in these situations, having been part of an aircrew and a tight- knit military unit myself, I find that the unit members know the tendencies of individuals. So that when this person is being accused, it is not surprising, they may be of great, upstanding moral character and great--as we used to say in the Army, they are your high and tight soldiers, they are hard chargers--but you know because the same situation that gets you into a situation where you are protective of one another and close knit also puts you in a role where you understand, okay, I have got to watch out for this guy. Is there anything that has been changed by the rise of women in--into higher ranks? I was often, for example, the highest ranking female in my unit. And I found that it became my role to step in in other units as well. And I was often the only EEO [equal employment opportunity] officer. So are you seeing some of those dynamics? I am not saying that there are not great male officers who act the way they should. But does that change the dynamic at all, to have more female officers who have trained? Dr. Lisak. This is a very anecdotal response to that. Ms. Duckworth. Okay. Dr. Lisak. Because it is my limited experience with, the various Services. I think it helps. But I don't think it is something that could be relied on as the fix. Because the same sort of cultural dynamics that we have been talking about all morning into the afternoon apply to women as well. And the forces, the pressures to conform, the pressures not to report, the pressures to be careful about who you say what to can apply to women as well and can silence women, even when they are in authority. When you are in authority, in the Services, there is always somebody who's got more authority. More power. So I think it is an improvement. And it helps, but it is not a sort of a fundamental fix. Ms. Duckworth. Thank you. Sergeant Norris, you would like to add? Sergeant Norris. Yeah, I would like to start by saying that oftentimes this issue gets turned into a male on female issue. And it is very important to note that 56 percent of our victims are males. It is yet to be looked at and given the attention that it needs to. And I want that on the record today. That this is not just a female issue, this is a predator issue. And just to let you know, things are getting worse. In 2010 and 2011, commander actions on the ground dealing with sexual assault complaints have gone down 23 percent. Down 23 percent. Court-martials, 2010, 2011, down 22 percent. Court-martial convictions, same year, down 8 percent. The DOD surveys find that 39 percent of perpetrators are of higher rank, 23 percent are in their chain of command. So we are asking our people, our troops to turn to potential predators to report another predator, according to these statistics. Ms. Duckworth. Thank you for that. I did not know the--you said 56 percent? Sergeant Norris. Yes. Ms. Duckworth. That is good to know. So my question to you, then, Officer Norris, you obviously are, as you said, a spitfire and are willing to stand up. Do you find many of your clients staying--choosing to stay in once they are given the tools? Is there any way, once they have gone through this process, and if there is a resolution that can be reached, is there any way to keep these amazing men and women that we have invested so much money into, so much effort into, who could then take this knowledge and help others as they go on in their career? Are they so hurt that they just don't want nothing to do with the military? Sergeant Norris. That is a great question. On paper, all the sexual assault policies in the military, they are so pretty. They are beautiful. If they actually were implemented, that would be great. But they are not. And we see it to this day, since the passage of the Defense Strong Act in 2011, we have been dealing with implementation issues the entire time because of people just straight up ignoring it, not wanting to deal with it, or just we don't have time for this, the mission's more important. Beat it. That is what we are seeing. The culture is getting more vicious. I don't know if it is because it has become so popular with Congress now, and that it is out in the media. But the stakes have been risen. So in addition to getting raped, you are getting beat, you are getting threatened. And then we are having to fight with commanders on how to get this person off that base so they won't get prolonged PTSD. So no, right now, we are not going to be able to save them. Not with the system we have in place right now. Ms. Duckworth. Mr. Chairman, I am out of time. I just wanted to thank both Sergeant McNally and Sergeant Norris for your courage and leadership. We certainly need a lot more like you. Thank you. Sergeant Norris. Thank you. Dr. Heck. Likewise, again, we want to thank you for taking time to be here this afternoon. Certainly, for you, Tech Sergeant, for sharing your very compelling story, and for our other witnesses for providing your expertise to the panel. Seeing no other questions, the meeting is adjourned. [Whereupon, at 2:14 p.m., the committee was adjourned.] ======================================================================= A P P E N D I X January 23, 2013 ======================================================================= PREPARED STATEMENTS SUBMITTED FOR THE RECORD January 23, 2013 ======================================================================= Statement of Hon. Howard P. ``Buck'' McKeon Chairman, House Committee on Armed Services Hearing on A Review of Sexual Misconduct by Basic Training Instructors at Lackland Air Force Base January 23, 2013 Thank you for joining us for our first hearing of the 113th Congress. I think it's appropriate that we begin our oversight with a subject that this committee has been vigilant in addressing for many years. At the same time, I find it extremely disturbing that despite the collective work of Congress, the Department of Defense, the military services, and the dedicated groups who advocate on the part of victims of this heinous crime, sexual assault and sexual misconduct remains a problem within our Armed Forces. Today we meet to receive testimony on sexual misconduct by basic training instructors at Lackland Air Force Base. The events at Lackland are the most recent example of sexual assaults that have plagued our military for far too long. This tragic example--where thirty-two instructors have either been found guilty, have been charged with, or are still being investigated for crimes against fifty-nine trainees begs the question--how could this have happened? How could the system and in particular the leadership have failed to protect the men and women who serve our Nation from sexual predators who also wear the uniform? While I applaud the Air Force for pursuing in-depth investigations to find answers to these questions, I am particularly disturbed to learn that there was significant delay reporting the allegations to the proper authorities when they first came to light. Equally troubling is that no action was taken by local leadership when the reporting delay was uncovered. This to me is unacceptable. I look forward to hearing from General Welch and General Rice how the Air Force has addressed these issues to eliminate the possibility that sexual misconduct goes undetected in the future. Make no mistake, Congress shares the responsibility for preventing sexual assault within the military and assuring victims that their cases will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Over the past 5 years, Republicans and Democrats have joined forces to put real reforms in place. We have ensured that victims of sexual assault are taken seriously, provided medical care and support, and that cases are investigated and prosecuted. Last year, Congress passed reforms in how the military tracks sexual assaults in order to paint a reliable picture of just how big the problem is. We have also mandated that only senior officers can handle sexual assault cases, ensuring that no matter what the rank of the victim, justice is meted out at the highest levels. We established a commission to take a critical look at the Uniformed Code of Military Justice and make recommendations for reform to make certain that the military justice system can successfully prosecute sexual assault. However, legislation is not the only answer. Commanders at every level and in every Service must make eliminating sexual assault and all forms of sexual misconduct from their commands the highest of priorities. Senior leaders at all levels must hold commanders accountable for aggressively pursuing allegations of sexual misconduct. We will accept nothing less. I understand that the Air Force has already made several changes to improve the safety and effectiveness of basic training. I would like to hear from our second panel if the reforms and safeguards recently put in place are sufficient. I have no doubt that there is more to be done. My visit to Lackland in September renewed my belief that the young men and women who volunteer to join our Armed Forces are the finest in the Nation. These young men and women have earned the respect of the Nation; they deserve the respect from their leaders and fellow service members. I would like to remind our members that at the same time we hold this hearing, the Air Force continues to prosecute the remaining cases at Lackland. When military perpetrators of sexual assault are tried by courts-martial, public statements by military and civilian leaders, especially senior leaders, about the guilt or innocence of an alleged perpetrator can be perceived as, or even may be undue command influence on the outcome of the trial. That means public testimony about Lackland could be used as grounds for a mistrial by defense attorneys. That isn't an outcome anyone wants. To that end I will give latitude to General Welch and General Rice to answer questions to the extent that it will not prejudice ongoing criminal prosecutions. We are all committed to eradicating sexual assault in our Armed Forces, but first we have to respect the victim's need for urgent and sure justice. Statement of Hon. Adam Smith Ranking Member, House Committee on Armed Services Hearing on A Review of Sexual Misconduct by Basic Training Instructors at Lackland Air Force Base January 23, 2013 I want to welcome General Welsh and General Rice. Thank you for coming, I know that both of you have been personally engaged in addressing the sexual misconduct that occurred in basic training at Lackland, and within the United States Air Force. I also want to thank the witnesses on our second panel, Dr. David Lisak, Chief Master Sergeant Cindy McNally, USAF, retired, and Ms. Jennifer Norris. I look forward to hearing your testimony. Each year Lackland is home to more than 30,000 trainees who receive their basic military training (BMT) to enlist in the United States Air Force. Approximately 25 percent of these individuals are women. Basic military training is the backbone in developing our young airmen and women. It is the cornerstone to ensuring that the Air Force molds the behavior that is expected from those serving in uniform. So it is disturbing to learn that individuals who were entrusted to mold these young men and women took advantage of their positions and sexual harassed and assaulted the very individuals they had the responsibility to develop and train. We are here today because at least 32 basic military instructors have been investigated or are under investigation for inappropriate relationships with or sexual harassment and assault of close to 60 individuals who were victims. And, the investigations continue, so there may be additional instructors implicated and even more victims acknowledged. Given that the investigations and prosecutions are still ongoing, I just want to remind my colleagues that today's focus should be on the policies and process of what happened and what is being done to repair this broken system, because we do not want to adversely impact any ongoing prosecutions and investigations. General Welsh and General Rice, we are here to understand how these assaults and inappropriate relationships could have occurred, how the system failed to detect these individuals, and as a result of your reviews, what actions is the Air Force taking to prevent such activities from occurring in the future, where you are in the implementation of these recommendations, and how we can ensure that these changes are upheld in the future. General Welsh, while I understand the hearing is focused on Lackland and what is being done to correct the situation, I am also concerned with the larger Air Force population which is also seeing a number of sexual assaults and harassment. Is the culture within the Air Force unintentionally contributing to this problem? What is the Air Force doing to address this issue within its ranks? Can the lessons learned and the recommendations from the review at Lackland be used to address this issue for the rest of the force? If not, what actions is the Air Force taking to address this problem? Dr. Lisak, Chief McNally, and Ms. Norris, we look forward to hearing from you on recommendations you may have to address this issue. Sexual harassment and assault are not unique to the military; inappropriate comments, date rape, and other sexual crimes happen every day within our society. Similar institutions, such as colleges and universities, face similar challenges. Are there lessons learned that the military can build upon from the civilian sector? Unlike universities and colleges, the military has much more control over an individual's life, so are there areas in which the military could do better than civilian society? I am interested in learning what is working and what is not, and how we can leverage research, policies, and programs that are effective that can be implemented within the military. [GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT] ======================================================================= DOCUMENTS SUBMITTED FOR THE RECORD January 23, 2013 ======================================================================= [GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT] ======================================================================= WITNESS RESPONSES TO QUESTIONS ASKED DURING THE HEARING January 23, 2013 ======================================================================= RESPONSE TO QUESTION SUBMITTED BY MS. SANCHEZ General Welsh. The Unit Climate Assessment (UCA) system tracks the last UCA and the upcoming UCA date, and Equal Opportunity Specialists are reminded and prompted to conduct the assessment. To ensure commanders meet the National Defense Authorization Act's (NDAA) intent to conduct annual climate assessments, the Air Force is revising Air Force Instruction (AFI) 36-2706, Military and Civilian Equal Opportunity, to change the current two year requirement for unit climate assessments to an annual climate assessment. As stipulated in the NDAA, Air Force will now be required to conduct a climate assessment within 120 days of commanders assuming command. Annually thereafter, the Air Force will utilize a variety of assessment tools such as Out and Abouts, Focus Groups, and Interviews to assess the climate for commanders. The Equal Opportunity Office will conduct the climate assessments and report findings and recommendations to commanders. Currently, the Air Force utilizes the UCA as the means of assessing the climate. The UCA is an excellent assessment tool for commanders to determine the engagement of their personnel. The UCA measures the following areas: A) Cohesion and Pride, B) Motivation and Morale, C) Supervisory Support, D) Perceived Discrimination, E) Overt Discriminatory Behaviors, F) Command EO/EEO Policy, and G) Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR). Plus, the commander is allowed to select up to ten locally developed questions. All areas of the UCA are measured via Likert Scale, however, the SAPR questions are measured based on the selection made by the participant. Since the UCA incorporates the SAPR questions, Air Force equal opportunity personnel partner with the Sexual Assault Response Coordinators for the inbrief and outbriefs to the commanders. One of the sections that commanders appreciate is the comments section provided in each measurement area as these comments provide the verbatim responses from the survey participants. Once the survey is complete, equal opportunity professionals analyze the data, schedule an outbrief with the commander, and provide recommendations to address the issues/themes presented by the workforce. If necessary, focus groups are hosted to solicit additional information or confirm perceptions. [See page 16.] ______ RESPONSE TO QUESTION SUBMITTED BY MRS. DAVIS General Welsh. There are 54 certified female Military Training Instructors (MTI); nine additional female MTIs are in training, assigned to Air Force Enlisted Basic Military Training (BMT)--these 63 personnel represent 13 percent of the MTI cadre. Historically, female MTIs have represented 10 percent of the MTI cadre. Recent non-voluntary manpower initiatives seek to significantly increase the representation of females in the MTI corps with the goal of one female per team of four certified MTIs (per two flights of trainees). To achieve this, the Air Force has established a requirement to increase inbound female MTI staffing to seven per month to achieve and sustain an overall number of 129 certified female MTIs. Once this level of female manning is achieved, BMT's ratio of female MTIs would then match our trainee population of approximately 25 percent. [See page 25.] ______ RESPONSE TO QUESTION SUBMITTED BY MR. ENYART General Rice. During the period the misconduct occurred, 2009-2012, one of the two Chief Master Sergeants (CMSgt, E-9) assigned to Basic Military Training (BMT) was female. We currently have one male and one female CMSgt working in BMT. We have recently hired four CMSgts for BMT squadron superintendent positions; one of the four CMSgts is female. For the Air Force Recruiting Service, six of twenty-seven CMSgts and two of five CMSgt-selects are currently female. [See page 32.] ? ======================================================================= QUESTIONS SUBMITTED BY MEMBERS POST HEARING January 23, 2013 ======================================================================= QUESTIONS SUBMITTED BY MR. SMITH Mr. Smith. 1) Given that the findings and recommendations in the Air Force November 2012 report parallel the results of other reviews that have been conducted over the course of nearly a decade, is this review indicative of a larger deficiency in the Air Force's culture that remains unaddressed? General Welsh. The Air Force has changed tremendously over the last several years but it has not changed enough. Our professionalism and culture must be consistent with our core values of integrity, service and excellence. As the Secretary of Defense states, there is no place in the military for sexual assault and our goal is ``zero.'' In November, I convened an ``All-Call'' with all 140 wing commanders to give them my expectations of them as leaders. This was followed up with a Health and Welfare Inspection of common work areas. The results of this inspection revealed we have more work to do. We will continue to improve until work centers are reflective of the pride and professionalism of our Airmen. To institute sustained and enduring change, we have also taken efforts to operationalize Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR) program initiatives. This includes a special interest item on inspection checklists to ensure viable programs and policies are implemented. We also recently convened a SAPR scenario exercise throughout United States Air Forces in Europe and will continue to exercise these scenarios throughout the Air Force. Additionally, we are in the midst of enhancing accessions, pre- command, senior enlisted leader, professional military education and annual training programs. Enhanced SAPR training over the course of a career will provide continued attention and emphasis to support long lasting change. This training also targets our senior leaders, to include quarterly video teleconferences with wing commanders and annual SAPR leader summits in which national experts provide education on a variety of topics, including victimology, victim care, investigatory techniques and accountability. Finally, we are working the required additional manpower requirements under the current fiscal constraints to support a sustained SAPR program. This includes victim advocates, sexual assault response coordinators, and legal assistance, as well as specially trained investigators and prosecutors to ensure we hold offenders accountable. Mr. Smith. 2) To what extent did the commander-directed investigation or the Air Force analyze the background of each of the alleged offenders at Lackland to identify what, if any, trends exist among the alleged perpetrators (such as criminal history, disciplinary actions incurred while in the military, service waivers and the like)? General Welsh. The commander directed investigation (CDI) conducted by Major General Margaret Woodward and internal reviews by Air Education and Training Command examined the backgrounds of alleged offenders. None of the reviews revealed information among the alleged perpetrators that would have indicated a propensity to engage in sexual misconduct prior to their arrival at Basic Military Training. Although these reviews did not reveal common demographics among alleged offenders, they did help to identify trends in how the alleged offenses were committed. These trends highlighted shortcomings in existing policies, procedures, resources, and leadership, and served as the focus for our corrective efforts. For example, in the past it was not difficult or uncommon for a military training instructor (MTI) to meet alone with a trainee, whether or not for legitimate purposes. Under the new wingman procedures, the ability of an MTI to isolate a trainee has effectively been negated. Mr. Smith. 3) GAO found that some first responders were not always aware of the health care services available to sexual assault victims because not all of them were completing the required training. What steps has the Air Force taken to improve first responders' compliance with completing annual refresher training on sexual assault prevention and response? General Welsh. First responder training for medical personnel has been implemented since Calendar Year (CY) 2010. In 2011, the Air Force Medical Service (AFMS) upgraded First Responder Training for healthcare personnel on MedLearn. This computer-based training is required annually for all healthcare personnel as defined by Air Force Instruction 44-102, Medical Care Management. Compliance is tracked by each military treatment facility's Education and Training office. The training module incorporates services available to assault victims. The curriculum is standardized, clear and concise and is updated at least annually. The AFMS has seen a dramatic increase in the number of healthcare personnel who have completed this training, as evidenced by the following data: CY12--24,680 medics completed First Responder Training for Healthcare Personnel CY11--24,296 medics completed First Responder Training for Healthcare Personnel CY10--6,000 medics completed First Responder Training for Healthcare Personnel The Air Force Surgeon General continuously monitors training completion and compliance of annual refresher training for sexual assault prevention. Additionally, our Military Criminal Investigation organization and Security Force personnel currently receive first responder training based on their specialty. We will also convene a multi-disciplinary Air Force integrated product team in the summer of 2013 to further review and assess first responder sexual assault services, including the timing and delivery of support provided to victims, as well as the methodology used to evaluate training effectiveness. This effort will be in partnership with the Office of Secretary of Defense Sexual Assault Prevention office who has also established a Special Victims Capability to improve capabilities of all first responders. Mr. Smith. 4) The Department of Defense June 2006 Instruction on sexual assault prevention and response recommended that the Services provide informational briefings and scenario-based training through the professional military education system, to include initial-entry training. Why did it take the assaults at Lackland and an investigative report on sexual misconduct during basic military training for the Air Force to finally undertake the development of such training? General Rice. Beginning in 2005 and phased in by 2007, the Air Force developed career-long Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR) education and training with Air Education and Training Command and private sector subject matter experts. SAPR curriculum includes both policy overview and discussion-based scenarios/exercises to comply with Department of Defense requirements. Airmen receive SAPR education and training in Basic Military Training, technical training, the First Term Airmen's course, officer training school, officer and enlisted professional military education, and during annual and pre-deployment training. In 2007, a workshop with 25 subject matter experts on sexual assault identified bystander intervention as the most effective prevention effort within the military culture and environment. To that end, Air Force prevention initiatives for the last two years focused on bystander intervention training (BIT), 90-minute small-group facilitated modules for leaders that incorporated discussion, exercises and scenario-supported learning. Mandatory Air Force-wide BIT began in January 2010 and was completed in September 2012. Over 448,000 Airmen (active duty, Air Force Reserve Command, and Air National Guard) and civilian supervisors of military were trained. The Air Force will continue to search for innovative ideas to reach the next level in our prevention and response efforts. In January 2013, we stood up our second of several integrated product team meetings, incorporating university experts and other subject matter experts, to assess our pre-command, senior enlisted, and entry-level SAPR education and training curricula with the goal to make it more relevant and impactful. Future meetings will include the review and assessment of other SAPR-related training, to include annual, pre-deployment, post- deployment, military recruiter, first responder training, as well as all levels of professional military education. Mr. Smith. 5) The commander-directive investigation report regularly referenced ``unique challenges'' that exist in a training environment. What steps, if any, are being taken to identify and modify other Air Force programs and areas that pose ``unique challenges'' and require a more tailored approach in the prevention and response to sexual assault? General Rice. The ``uniqueness'' of the training environment addressed in the Lackland Basic Military Training commander-directed investigation referenced the training instructor's level of authority over trainees, often with little or no supervision. While each installation and command poses distinctive challenges, this type of supervisor-subordinate relationship is not typical in Air Force organizations. In most instances, there is supervisory overhead to include branch and flight chiefs and superintendents. We acknowledge that this does not always preclude misconduct or inappropriate behavior and is why we have and will continue to emphasize every Airman's responsibility to do the right thing and the significance of being a good Wingman. In regards to a tailored approach in the prevention and response to sexual assault, we recently solicited from major commands shared best practices. The consolidated list is posted on the Air Force SAPR website for commanders to evaluate for local level implementation. Mr. Smith. 6) The Air Force recently implemented a mandatory misconduct reporting requirement based on the recommendation from the commander-directive investigation that ``a clear policy be developed requiring that wing commanders be informed immediately of all allegations of sexual assault, sexual harassment, unprofessional relationships, maltreatment, and maltraining.'' However, this new policy does not provide an exemption to victims that would allow the option to make a restricted report. To what extent does the Air Education and Training Command's mandatory misconduct reporting requirement adhere to or is consistent with DOD's policy on restricted reporting of sexual assault incidents? How does Training Command plan to bridge the disconnect between the new reporting requirement and the current procedures that service members and first responders are taught to follow when making a restricted report on sexual assault? General Rice. On August 20, 2012, the commander of 2nd Air Force, Major General Leonard Patrick, created a mandatory misconduct reporting requirement for, ``all military training leaders, military training instructors, and other training squadron personnel (except victims of the alleged offense or trainees) with knowledge of a reportable offense.'' Because this policy does not apply to victims of misconduct, it is completely consistent with restricted reporting options provided through the Air Force. Mr. Smith. 7) The investigation team indicated that it spoke with ``immunized perpetrators'' as part of its review. To what extent did the investigation team use these individuals? How many individuals contributed to the review that would be classified as ``immunized perpetrators'', for what types of offenses did they receive immunity, and who determined who received immunity, and are these individuals still serving in the military? General Rice. The only ``immunized perpetrator'' interviewed by the commander directed investigation (CDI) led by Major General Margaret Woodward was Airman Peter Vega-Maldonado, as he was the only perpetrator immunized at the time of the CDI. Airman Vega-Maldonado's testimony before General Woodward's team was instrumental in understanding military training instructor (MTI) culture as well as identifying policy, resource, and leadership shortcomings that may have enabled his misconduct. Airman Vega-Maldonado was convicted by a special court-martial on April 6, 2012 of an unprofessional relationship with a technical training student. After his court-martial, Brigadier General Theresa Carter, the 502d Air Base Wing commander, granted Airman Vega-Maldonado testimonial immunity and ordered him to cooperate with investigators. General Carter, as a general court-martial convening authority, was authorized to grant immunity in this case pursuant to Rule for Courts- Martial 704, under the Manual for Courts-Martial. Pursuant to his immunity, Airman Vega-Maldonado admitted engaging in consensual unprofessional relationships with four additional students in technical training. He also provided investigators with information regarding seven other potential MTI misconduct cases. Airman Vega-Maldonado did not receive immunity for any particular offenses. Rather, under a grant of testimonial immunity, Airman Vega- Maldonado may not be prosecuted based on any information derived from his immunized testimony. For example, his admission that he engaged in four additional unprofessional relationships may not be used against him in a court-martial. Three additional MTIs have since received testimonial immunity subsequent to their own courts-martial. Immunity was deemed necessary in those cases because prosecutors believed these individuals had information about other MTI misconduct that could not be obtained by any other means. All of the MTIs who have received testimonial immunity are still serving with the Air Force for a variety of reasons, to include completion of their court-martial sentences and participation in ongoing investigations and prosecutions. To date, 18 alleged victims of MTI misconduct have also received testimonial immunity and been ordered to cooperate with investigators. In each case, the alleged victim was believed to have willingly engaged in an unprofessional relationship with an MTI in violation of Air Education and Training Center policy. Testimonial immunity was deemed necessary in these cases because the victims either refused, or were reluctant, to cooperate with investigators due to their legitimate concerns about self-incrimination. Mr. Smith. 8) To what extent did the commander-directed investigation or the Air Force analyze the background of each of the alleged offenders at Lackland to identify what, if any, trends exist among the alleged perpetrators (such as criminal history, disciplinary actions incurred while in the military, service waivers and the like)? General Rice. The commander directed investigation conducted by Major General Margaret Woodward and internal reviews by the Air Education and Training Center examined the backgrounds of alleged offenders. None of the reviews revealed information among the alleged perpetrators that would have indicated a propensity to engage in sexual misconduct prior to their arrival at Basic Military Training. Although these reviews did not reveal common demographics among alleged offenders, they did help to identify trends in how the alleged offenses were committed. These trends highlighted shortcomings in existing policies, procedures, resources, and leadership, and served as the focus our corrective efforts. For example, in the past it was not difficult or uncommon for a military training instructor (MTI) to meet alone with a trainee, whether or not for legitimate purposes. Under the new wingman procedures, the ability of an MTI to isolate a trainee has effectively been negated. Mr. Smith. 9) Sexual assault prevention and response training moved from week 7 of basic military training to week 5, and a potential move to week 4 was being considered. What, if any, criteria are being used to determine when sexual assault prevention and response training should be provided in basic military training? To what extent have the data from the recent report of alleged sexual misconduct during basic military and technical training been analyzed to identify what trends may have existed at the time the misconduct took place? For example, did data indicate the misconduct predominantly took place at the beginning of basic military training when trainees may be more vulnerable, or at the end of training when trainees are provided more freedom? General Rice. Decisions on where to place Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR) training in the Basic Military Training (BMT) program are based on several factors: 1) encouraging reporting from the onset of training, 2) reducing fear of reporting and 3) reinforcing SAPR messaging through related learning objectives for increased retention. For these reasons, there are several points of training. Within 72 hours of arrival the group commander briefs all trainees to immediately report any sexual or other misconduct and how to do that, as well to give a personal assurance that those who report will not be punished. The squadron commander follows up in the first week of training, defining sexual crimes, describing the multiple venues for reporting (e.g. via Sexual Assault Response Coordinators (SARC), chaplains, medical providers, etc.), methods of reporting (restricted and unrestricted) and the implications for each, and leadership's total commitment to place victim support as the first priority. Also in the first week, military training instructors brief/show trainees the SARC visual aid located in every dormitory and in every trainee's study guide which contains the SARC hotline reporting number. A new lesson has been crafted to alert trainees and MTIs of early signs of developing unprofessional relationships (e.g. early signals of sexual predator grooming) in the training environment. Plans are to add this training into the second week of training to reinforce Human Relations I and II training messaging, in the second and third weeks of training respectively, each designed to promote a culture of respect among Airmen. SAPR Accessions I training was moved from the seventh to the fourth week of training to place it prior to the week of field training deployment to reinforce the connection between SAPR and mission accomplishment, and to allow reinforcement again during an Airmanship and Core Values lesson and in the Squadron Commander's Departure Briefing, both just prior to graduation. It also provides any victims more time with a trauma counselor, if they request counseling. The Squadron Commander's Departure Briefing also specifically addresses prohibitions in contacting Airmen using electronic communications (phone, text and social media) after BMT, especially stressing periods of liberty and technical training. While the majority of sexual misconduct incidents occur at the end of training or after graduation, all of the above training improvements are intended to identify and/or prevent sexual predator grooming which investigative cases have shown occur early in training. Mr. Smith. 10) To what extent did the DOD Inspector General's office contribute to the commander-directed investigation team's review of sexual assault? General Rice. The Department of Defense Inspector General's (IG) office did not contribute to the commander directed investigation because commander-directed investigations are independent of the IG system. Commanders have an inherent authority to conduct commander- directed investigations to examine systemic or procedural problems or to look into matters regarding individual conduct or responsibility, as was the case here. Mr. Smith. 11) To what extent did the Air Force solicit input from responders such as medical and mental health personnel on their ability to provide or coordinate care for alleged victims during basic military or technical training? Where there any identified changes that are needed to improve medical and mental health care to service members who are assaulted during basic military or technical training? And, did the Air Force solicit input from individuals or groups outside of the military culture with experience in prevention and response to sexual assault? General Rice. The Joint Base San Antonio (JBSA) Lackland Sexual Assault Response Coordinator (SARC) coordinated with both medical and mental health personnel on providing consolidated care for victims of sexual assault. Trainees are notified of base resources, to include SARC services, at the beginning of training and during their fourth week of basic military training. If a sexual assault victim presents to Behavioral Analysis Service (BAS) for assessment, BAS contacts the JBSA Lackland SARC for supportive care. The JBSA Lackland SARC office staff, which includes a sexual assault trauma counselor, provides continued supportive victim-centered care to current basic military and technical school trainee sexual assault victims including those who experienced sexual assault prior to military service. Upon the trainee's departure from JBSA Lackland, these cases are either closed or forwarded to the victim's technical school or their first duty station assignment, depending on the victims request for further SARC Support. Additionally, the JBSA Lackland SARC works closely with the local area Rape Crisis Center in providing resources to victims who elect to utilize non-Department of Defense support and provides brochures and flyers from recognized organizations (1 in 6, Military One Source, etc.) to victims of sexual assault. The JBSA Lackland SARC and the 559th Medical Group (MDG) BAS continue to work closely together to improve coordination and support for victims of sexual assault. The JBSA Lackland SARC makes referrals to sexual assault victims as requested/needed (e.g., Local Rape Crisis Center, Mental Health, etc.) for further assessment and/or treatment. In addition, the 559th MDG process continues to assess for past/current history of sexual assault during intake evaluations and works closely with the JBSA Lackland SARC to refer trainees as needed. The 37th Training Wing recently added a widely publicized SARC hotline for trainees and increased SARC access to training operations. In 2011, the Air Force Medical Service (AFMS) upgraded First Responder Training for healthcare personnel on MedLearn. This computer based training is required annually for all healthcare personnel as defined by Air Force Instruction 44-102, Medical Care Management. The training module incorporates services available to assault victims. The curriculum is standardized, clear and concise and is updated at least annually. The AFMS has seen a dramatic increase in the number of healthcare personnel who have completed this training, as evidenced by the following data: CY12--24,680 medics completed First Responder Training for Healthcare Personnel CY11--24,296 medics completed First Responder Training for Healthcare Personnel CY10--6,000 medics completed First Responder Training for Healthcare Personnel The Air Force Medical Service (AFMS) has strengthened their sexual assault process by partnering with external resources and subject matter experts. The 2012 AFMS Sexual Assault policy was developed using civilian subject matter experts' valuable input and guidance. Dr. Linda Ledray, a leading national and international sexual assault nurse examiner, lent her expertise in the development and standardization of the Sexual Assault policy. Additionally, Air Force policy requires military treatment facilities to partner with external resources/ facilities to conduct sexual assault exams (SAE), if they do not have an internally trained team to conduct such exams. This ensures quality, standardized exams with certified and experienced examiners. The judge advocate community recently initiated a program, called the Special Victims' Counsel, to provide sexual assault victims a specially trained judge advocate for representation. The Special Victims' Counsel's primary purpose is to provide victims with independent, attorney-client privileged representation throughout the investigation and prosecution processes. In implementing and developing the Special Victims' Counsel Program, the Air Force Judge Advocate General's Corps continues to partner with several external sources to develop this program--receiving valuable and continuing input from The National Crime Victim Law Institute, Lewis & Clark Law School, Portland, Oregon, and the Department of Justice's Office for Victims of Crime, Washington, DC. ______ QUESTIONS SUBMITTED BY MS. TSONGAS Ms. Tsongas. 12) General Welsh, I would like to thank you for your recent efforts in the short notice service-wide health and welfare inspections. Clearing all Air Force work centers (including public areas) of any unprofessional material is a great step in changing the culture. With that, I will say I was surprised to see that the Air Education and Training Command had a large number of sexually explicit materials. The results of the inspection should serve as a wakeup call that the culture must change. How will you ensure that the progress made by this inspection is kept up? General Welsh. The intent of the Health and Welfare Inspection was to reset the Air Force workplace environment to coincide with my direction and expectations that Air Force workplaces must be comfortable for all Airmen to work in. This is a culture change, and in order to shift our culture, we must reach every level of leadership throughout the Air Force. To ensure compliance, the commanders' inspection program now includes requirement for regular health and wellness inspections by commanders. Major commands review wing inspection results and provide oversight on installation programs. Furthermore, the staff here is responsible for oversight of major command programs to evaluate Air Force-wide compliance. Ms. Tsongas. 13) I was very pleased to be briefed by General Harding, Air Force JAG, regarding the implementation of a Special Victims Counsel Program. With the initiation of the Special Victims Counsel, do you believe there will be an increase in the number of victims coming forward to report their assaults/rapes? Is the Air Force prepared for an influx of reports? General Welsh. Sixty Air Force attorneys have been identified and trained to serve as Special Victims' Counsel providing comprehensive and compassionate legal assistance to victims. Their job is to advise the victim and to assist the victim throughout the investigatory and prosecutorial phases of their case. Our goal is to provide a level of support to victims so that they do not feel like they have been victimized a second time by the process. If victims feel like they are treated better by the entire system, then it is our hope that more victims will feel comfortable coming forward and reporting a sexual assault. The Special Victims' Counsels are currently prepared to assist all eligible sexual assault victims of on-going investigations and courts- martial, and future cases as they arise. Even if additional victims come forward, not all of the eligible victims will require the same level of workload, based on whether the case is restricted or unrestricted, the stage of the proceeding (early investigation, mid- investigation, post-preferral or post-referral), and the needs of a particular individual. The Air Force is committed to devoting the resources necessary to provide legal counsel to sexual assault victims. Ms. Tsongas. 14) In Dr. Lisak's written testimony, he touched on the fact that ``we'' shy away from the victim due to the nature of the problem. I have often wondered how victims are treated in their work centers after they report a sexual violence crime. From what I hear from victims my office communicates with, they are often isolated. Aftercare or ``postvention'' must be present to ensure the victim feels supported. What is the Air Force doing to ensure every military member understands how important it is to treat the victim ``normally'' after they have reported such a crime? General Welsh. Our first focus is on victim care and support, and our goal is to maintain this priority through improved aftercare or ``postvention'' for each victim. The Air Force provides a number of support services to victims of sexual assault, including a victim advocate, legal assistance, medical care, mental health services, and chaplain support. Enhanced and continued Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program (SAPR) training to include at accession, annually, by- stander intervention and during professional military education courses will educate all Airmen and better prepare them as ``Wingmen.'' We discuss with commanders the importance of victim care and emphasize the assault was not the victim's fault, victims should be treated normally in the unit and they were not disloyal for reporting the assault. In addition to SAPR training, leadership communication and emphasis is critical. To this point, we will conduct quarterly video teleconferences with all wing commanders and we have a strategic communication plan to ensure consistent and continuous messaging. Installation case management group meetings are convened monthly to discuss a victim's progress and any on-going issues. For unrestricted cases, these meetings are attended by the victim's chain of command, victim advocate, mental health, and legal counsel, who discuss issues to improve victim care and support. Additionally, specific training on how to provide appropriate support and aftercare to victims who report a sexual assault is now incorporated in standardized curricula for commanders and first sergeants. Finally, victims who submit unrestricted reports have the opportunity to request an expedited transfer. Ms. Tsongas. 15) Recently, it was announced that the first male victims came forward at Lackland. Given the information in Dr. Lisak's testimony, it seems that there may be more. What are you doing to make sure that there aren't male victims we're missing? General Welsh. All victims of sexual assault, regardless of gender, are encouraged to report and obtain the care and support they need. A 2010 Gallup Survey on the prevalence/incidence of sexual assault in the Air Force estimated 0.5 percent of males (1,355) in the Air Force had been sexually assaulted within the preceding 12 months, though only a fraction reported. While the reasons for not reporting differ by type of assault that occurred, the Gallup survey indicated there are several reasons women do not report while the majority of men (63 percent) do not report because they do not consider the incident serious enough. This perception is a challenge for us to overcome. However, we continue to work the issue through training which includes discussion on gender issues. Additionally, we have implemented the ``Rights and Duties of Airman Trainees.'' This document accompanies the Airman from the recruiting station through completion of technical training and outlines how to report sexual assault and misconduct. The Lackland training instructor's acts of misconduct were briefed to all trainees, to include recent graduates, and victims were encouraged to report. ______ QUESTIONS SUBMITTED BY MS. SPEIER Ms. Speier. 16) On behalf of Mr. Cummings, Ranking Member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee: I am deeply concerned about the failure to have appropriate procedural and investigatory protections of alleged victims of sexual assault. The civilian criminal justice system limits the defendant's ability to cross-examine victims about their past sexual behavior, this is commonly known as the rape shield law. Military adjudicatory process also has a rape shield law, but invariably it permits the defense to discuss the victim's sexual proclivities. Additionally, an individual who is accused of committing sexual assault has the ability to provide character-bolstering evidence during a court martial. By comparison, in the civilian adjudicatory process character-bolstering is not permitted. Has the USAF considered or begun the process of evaluating changes to the military adjudicatory process as to better protect alleged victims? If so, what recommendations, if any are under consideration or have been issued to date? General Welsh. Military Rules of Evidence (MRE) 412 generally prohibits the introduction of evidence offered to prove that an alleged victim engaged in other sexual behavior or to prove an alleged victim's sexual predisposition. MRE 412 is substantially similar in substantive scope to the Federal Rules of Evidence (FRE) 412. MRE 412 is intended to shield victims of sexual assault from the often embarrassing and degrading cross-examination that is common to prosecutions of such offenses. MRE 412 applies to any alleged sexual offense case and is not limited to rape or assault with intent to commit rape. The exact same exceptions that exist in FRE 412 apply to MRE 412. Evidence may be admitted only if excluding it would violate the accused's constitutional rights. This is the same standard that is also commonly used in most state courts as well. The procedures to determine admissibility are similar to the Federal Rule but modified to conform to military practice. For example, the time period to provide notice of intent to introduce evidence under Rule 412 is shortened and a closed hearing is substituted for an ``in camera'' hearing by a federal judge. Thus, Rape Shield protections apply equally in the military as they do in other Federal courts. MRE 404 generally prohibits the introduction of character evidence, which is mirrored in Federal Rules of Evidence 404. MRE 404 permits an accused to offer evidence of a pertinent character trait, just as FRE 404 allows. Evidence of good military character is admissible when that specific trait is pertinent. Military appellate courts have taken an expansive view of when that trait is pertinent. However, those same courts also apply an equally liberal standard to the scope of government rebuttal that allows the government to rebut evidence of good military character that would otherwise not be admissible. Unlike civilian courts, courts-martial are part of a disciplinary scheme relied upon to maintain good order and discipline, to preserve obedience and conformity necessary to successful military action, and to eliminate from the military individuals who pose a risk to other service members or national security. Often, acts not punishable as crimes in civilian society are deemed criminal under military law. A long-standing tradition based on the separate nature of military society is one basis for admissibility of the evidence; whatever weight the evidence carries at trial may be little or none. The Air Force implemented the Special Victims' Counsel Program on January 28, 2013 as a pilot program as one means of providing better support to sexual assault victims. The lessons learned from this program will be collected and evaluated to make recommendations for potential changes to the Uniform Code of Military Justice, the Rules for Courts-Martial, or the Military Rules of Evidence. Ms. Speier. 17) On behalf of Mr. Cummings, Ranking Member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee: This month the Air Force Academy reported that sexual abuse and assault reports have increased significantly to 65 during the last academic year compared to 41 the year prior. Why is there an increase in assaults? What specific actions has the USAF taken to investigate and properly curtail the rise in these incidents? What best practices from other military academies or other entities is USAF considering implementing to better address this growing issue? General Welsh. The numbers 65 and 41 are actually the total number of reports from all three Military Service Academies for academic years (AY) 2010-2011 and 2009-2010, respectively. The number of sexual assault reports at the United States Air Force Academy (USAFA) has gone up steadily since AY 2008-2009 (listed below) and may be attributable to the efforts to increase reporting. Additionally, 12 of the 52 reports for AY 2011-2012 were cases of sexual assault that occurred prior to entry. Academic Year Number of Sexual Assault Reports AY 2005-2006 17 AY 2006-2007 19 AY 2007-2008 24 AY 2008-2009 8 AY 2009-2010 20 AY 2010-2011 33 AY 2011-2012 52 USAFA maintains a robust Sexual Assault and Prevention and Response (SAPR) program as described in the Annual Report. Each cadet receives over 12 hours of SAPR related development education during the course of their four-year career which is closely aligned to USAFA's officer development model (USAFA's development model aligns development education along a four year progression from follower to organizational leader). USAFA uses a wide range of techniques to deliver SAPR related training, to include the use of subject matter experts. This fall, USAFA will implement by-stander intervention training modeled after the active duty program. USAFA thoroughly investigates all unrestricted reports of sexual assault and prefers charges to court-martial when appropriate. Additionally, USAFA reviews the reports of the other Military Service Academies along with the Department of Defense annual reports looking for best practices and new and effective ideas. USAFA is also a member of the Colorado Coalition Against Sexual Assault which includes universities throughout the state and provides a forum for the exchange of ideas. Ms. Speier. 18) On behalf of Mr. Cummings, Ranking Member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee: USAF vision is to ``excel as stewards of all Air Force resources in service to the American people, while providing precise and reliable Global Vigilance, Reach and Power for the nation.'' How can the USAF live up to its vision when the outward appearance of the Service is that it has recruited individuals that think it is acceptable to engage in behavior that runs counter of that vision? General Welsh. Since the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response program was implemented by Department of Defense Directive 6495.01 on October 6, 2005, the Department has maintained policy, stated in paragraph 4.l of the current Directive dated January 23, 2012, that: Enlistment or commissioning of personnel in the Military Services shall be prohibited and no waivers are allowed when the person has a qualifying conviction for a crime of sexual assault. A ``qualifying conviction'' is defined in the Directive Glossary as: A State or Federal conviction, or a finding of guilty in a juvenile adjudication, for a felony crime of sexual assault and any general or special court-martial conviction for a Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) offense, which otherwise meets the elements of a crime of sexual assault, even though not classified as a felony or misdemeanor within the UCMJ. In addition, any offense that requires registration as a sex offender is a qualifying conviction. For those recruited into the Service who choose not to live by the Air Force core values, deterring their misconduct begins with convincing them that the risks associated with unprofessional behavior are too great. When institutional safeguards work properly, most will be dissuaded from misconduct, the few not dissuaded will be deterred from unprofessional behavior, and those not deterred must be detected and held accountable in a way that further strengthens dissuasion and deterrence for others. The Air Force is committed to sustaining high levels of professional conduct through persistent attention to and reinforcement of our core values from all levels of leadership. Ms. Speier. 19) On behalf of Mr. Cummings, Ranking Member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee: What specific actions has USAF taken to better prevent sexual assaults among women serving in or attached to units in combat zones given DOD's recommendations to enhance the position of women and in part make critical changes to its combat exclusion policy? General Welsh. Prior to the elimination of the 1994 Direct Ground Combat Definition and Assignment Rule, Air Force women were eligible to fill 99 percent of the authorized positions. The Air Force has six Sexual Assault Response Coordinators (SARC) assigned in the combat area of responsibility. In addition to these six SARCs, Air Force Central Command has instituted a ``Blue Line'' program to reach out to Airmen deployed to forward operating bases. Air Force SAPR Operations at Headquarters Air Force Personnel Center in San Antonio provides 24/7 reach back support to deployed SARCs on training, reporting and other issues. Additionally, the deployed SARCs participate in monthly teleconferences to benchmark and share concerns and best practices. Ms. Speier. 20) On behalf of Mr. Cummings, Ranking Member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee: What are the key challenges USAF has identified in implementing DOD's recommendations? What specific recommendations does USAF anticipate being fully implemented in the next 6 months, 1 year and 2 years from now? General Welsh. Though we anticipate fully implementing Department of Defense (DOD) recommendations, we do recognize challenges for the Air Force Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR) program due to current budget and resource constraints. The hiring freeze will impact the ability to fill critical vacant Sexual Assault Response Coordinator (SARC) and full-time Victim Advocate (VA) positions to comply with Fiscal Year 2012 National Defense Authorization Act requirements by 1 October 2013. Furloughing runs an unprecedented risk to sustaining the 24/7/365 SAPR capability and restricts access to institutional knowledge which may adversely impact victim care. Approximately 74 percent of installation-level SARCs and 84 percent of projected full-time VAs are civilian positions. The Air Force would need to rely heavily on military SARCs/Alternate SARCs (only assigned in some locations) and volunteer military VAs to sustain. Fiscal constraints and reduced budgets may impact SARC and VAs' opportunity to complete continued education units required to maintain certification. Additionally, installation level programs currently funded through Operation & Maintenance budgets may impact quality of program events. The following recommendations will be implemented within the next 6, 12, and 24 months. Within 6 months: -- Additional leaders at Basic Military Training (BMT) -- Adjustment of the timing (conduct earlier) and frequency of SAPR training at BMT -- BMT student access to SAPR services -- Pre-Command SAPR training for Commanders and Senior Leaders (30 Mar 2013) -- Revised SAPR Commander's Guide Within 12 months: -- New Unit Climate Assessment Requirements: conducted within 120 days of command and then annually -- Air Force-wide enhancement to SAPR Training and Education Within 24 months: -- Selection of BMT instructors (more of them, more experience, better quality) to include selection of more female instructors (Dec 2014) Ms. Speier. 21) On behalf of Mr. Cummings, Ranking Member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee: In June 2012, you were directed by Gen. Rice to conduct ``an independent 60-day Command Directed Investigation into faculty and staff misconduct with Basic Military Training [BMT] trainees and technical training [TT] students . . . [which] would deeply and deliberately evaluate the BMT and TT environments and obtain recommendations to enable Air Education Training Command to . . . ensure a command environment that effectively supports victims.'' Within the Command Directed Report, which consists of approximately 180 pages, there is no mention of victims being interviewed. Gen. Rice, at any time did you directly interview victims during the course of your work? Did your staff interview victims? If so, how many of the total identified victims to date did you or your staff meet with? Could you explain why victim interviews were not included in this report? General Rice. This question was answered in a letter to Congresswoman Speier. The letter was dated 12 Feb 13 and a copy was given to Congresswoman Speier's MLA by SAF/LL (Lt Col Peltzer) on that date.