The Fight on Sexual Assault: Why Does Sexual Assault Occur in the Army

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I am the lone wolf of the pack that doesn’t fit the social que to please others. I follow the army values as any good soldier should. To what extent do you ask the question ‘”where’s the loyalty and respect towards sexual assault”? The answer is zero. Soldiers that are supposed to be leaders, fall to their knees when their career is at stake. Like a sheep in the field waiting to be fed to the wolf, no one has the courage to stand to up and do the right thing, it’s “too easy” to fall in the good ‘ole boy system. From the Frontline military news source records first hand witnesses who are now advocates and share their story for the fight against sexual assault. 

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One soldier by the name Brian Lewis, a navy petty officer third class. He stated in an interview “I thought my command would do the right thing”. He was then told to not mention anything to investigators or anyone else. He seen his command as traitors for not doing the right thing. Petty officer Brian said that as soon as he reported his sexual assault to his leadership about the encounter he was perceived as the “problem child”. He was then told to don’t ask and don’t tell to anyone about the situation, to keep quite. He was then moved to a different station of work. 

Banned from carrying his weapon he was also disqualified for being on watch on the watch deck which is one of the main duties of being a sailor. The leadership then began giving him disciplinary action for minor discrepancies such as a scratch on his buckle or thread hanging from his uniform. Other soldiers figured he was in trouble so they outcast him because they were too afraid to be guilty by association. Lewis was then kicked off the ship and sent a psychiatrist in San Diego who then proceeded to call him a liar. “He wanted to know why I was tarnishing somebody’s good name,” Lewis told Frontline. Lewis was finally put on a personality disorder and generally discharged from the navy. “You don’t want to be the commander that calls your superior to say you’ve had an allegation of rape in your unit,” 

Another soldier that had been interviewed by frontline attached to had told her story on her deployment to Iraq that one of her superiors had raped her. She then began to state that she had told multiple members of her chain of command. A victim of rape had now became a victim of black mail as well. She was told if she told anyone she would charge with adultery. The soldier was even consulted by an officer of her chain of command and told that the officer had notified her attacker that she was pursuing legal action against him. 

The officer then began to say that this soldier had come onto her superior. Before being medically retired she was placed on duties that was below her rank. “I am one of the ‘unreported statistics’ — not without trying, I assure you of that,” from a letter to pbs. She then continued in the letter “He is free and able to do it again as long as he wears the uniform. The uniform represents a protective shield if you’re a rapist with rank. My life gets ruined, and he gets promoted.” As of May 2nd 2019 CNN did a report of the active rise in sexual assault and sexual harassment across the branches. Nearly 20,500 soldiers of all branches had sexual contact in a report from the Pentagon. In 2016 the total number of service members that had sexual contact was 14, 900, that’s a 38% increase from the past two years. The Department of Defense then reported that sexual contact that had been allegedly rose 9.7 percent in an annual report of sexual assault in the military. 

From the past two years there are more numbers rising in offenders then in people who report such scenes. The Secretary of Defense Stated in a letter to her senior officials 'To put it bluntly, we are not performing to the standards and expectations we have for ourselves or for each other. This is unacceptable”. She continued in the letter 'We cannot shrink from facing the challenge head on. We must, and will, do better.' The numbers, eyewitness stories represent unheard voices that could have been reprimanded if handled correctly we have the sharp program to help prevent but sadly not to eliminate. The number gap proves we have more offenders then actual people that want to make a difference. With the power and understanding of what It truly means to be a leader we can give people that don’t stand a chance of hope, a glimmering light. We can do what truly is not just right as individual but as a human being. that’s why no matter who’s behind me, I stand alone to rise to the call of duty and protect the one thing I love most and that’s my brothers and sisters in arms. 

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