HomeNewsArticle Display

Hagel: Fight to end sexual assault must be ‘personal’

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel provides closing remarks at the Air Force Sexual Assault Prevention Summit Jan. 16, 2015, on Joint Base Andrews, Md. (Department of Defense photo/ Casper Manlangit)

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel provides closing remarks at the Air Force Sexual Assault Prevention Summit Jan. 16, 2015, on Joint Base Andrews, Md. (Department of Defense photo/ Casper Manlangit)

JOINT BASE ANDREWS, Md. (AFNS) -- Efforts to eliminate the baneful issue of sexual assault “must be personal,” Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said in closing remarks at the Air Force Sexual Assault Prevention Summit Jan. 16.

Hagel said the military community is unique in its raised standards and the expectation that service members will commit to each other both on and off the battlefield.

“We should fundamentally begin taking care of each other in personal relationships and wherever else,” Hagel said. “If we don’t understand that dimension of this crime, then we will miss the whole point.”

Trust and accountability are critical

The secretary noted that absent personal accountability and responsibility, sexual assault will persist no matter how many laws, restrictions, directives or resources are created.

“It won’t be an Air Force or a military free of sexual assault unless we come at it from a basis of the humanity and the health of the force,” Hagel said. “We have to trust each other.”

While he cited “encouraging progress” in stanching the issue over the last year, Hagel acknowledged more can be done, particularly in areas such as social retaliation, which he said stems from the overall environment.

“You cannot take the responsibility and the accountability for this out of the chain of command,” Hagel asserted. “If you see something, if you sense something, it’s your responsibility to step in and deal with it -- stop it, or if you can’t stop it get somebody who will stop it.”

Hagel praised the military as a whole for its transparency and recognition of the problem, but said awareness is just the starting point.

“College campuses, other areas that are dealing with this issue, are looking to the military for help … because we have institutionalized this as a huge challenge and a priority for who we are,” Hagel said.

Ultimately, Hagel said, the Air Force and members of all services are building a legacy as role models and leaders with a tremendous effect on the future.

“We have a unique opportunity because of how we are structured, how we are organized … that gives us possibilities and avenues of approach to this that no other institution or community of families has,” Hagel said. “We’ve got to fix this problem -- it won’t get fixed in Congress, in the White House or anywhere else.”

Engage

Twitter
RT @AFSpecOpsCmd: Service. Strength. Sacrifice.🇺🇸 #TillValhalla In honor of fallen @usairforce @SpecialTactics_ officer, Capt. Matthew Rola…
Twitter
What would happen if personnel needed to be rapidly deployed to a location where nothing was on the ground except a… https://t.co/dZT3YFYNG1
Twitter
“I have always been interested in global and international security, language, and adventure,” said A1C Jessica Ram… https://t.co/acayRIMWqb
Twitter
Happy Mother's Day! Today we honor our Airmen and Spouses who fill the role of mom. Your dedication and sacrifices… https://t.co/SBsHXqjw6N
Twitter
RT @USAFCENT: The 609th Air Operations Center made history this week when it became the first AOC to operationally utilize the Kessel Run A…
Twitter
Airmen from the 34th Fighter Squadron prepare to launch F-35A Lightning lls at Mt. Home Air Force Base, Idaho, duri… https://t.co/t41oTbPGNq
Twitter
“The #AirForceReserve is a cost-effective, accessible and ready force,” said Lt Gen Richard Scobee. “We provide str… https://t.co/mrPt6Xq5Vn
Twitter
Here's a glimpse at the most recent Week in Photos! See the rest at: https://t.co/4L68vSVNfV https://t.co/vmIDDz5Gh6
Twitter
On this day, 76 years ago, the allied powers formally accepted Nazi Germany's surrender, marking the end of the WWI… https://t.co/A9LG3D5Y2s
Twitter
The Skyborg leadership team conducted a 2 hour and 10 minute flight test of the Skyborg autonomy core system, or AC… https://t.co/Gf1W4IIN0A
Twitter
RT @AirNatlGuard: Airmen of the 152nd Airlift Wing's Medical Group teamed up with @NVNationalGuard Soldiers for joint aeromedical training…
Twitter
.@SecAFOfficial, @GenCQBrownJr & @SpaceForceCSO testified before the @AppropsDems' Defense Appropriations Subcommit… https://t.co/wC8CE7dSYR
Facebook
The newest Air Force Podcast recently dropped. Listen to a small snippet of CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright talk with Staff Sgt. New about resiliency. Listen to the entire podcast on Youtube: https://go.usa.gov/xpnAD or Subscribe to The Air Force Podcast on iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/podcast/the-air-force-podcast/id1264107694?mt=2
Facebook
Our mantra, "Always ready!" It's the spirit we fly by! #B2Tuesday
Facebook
Need some motivation to get your week started off right? Listen as CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright weighs in...
Facebook
The U.S. Air Force Academy gives its cadets some unique opportunities. Ride along one of this opportunities.
Facebook
A United States Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker refuels an F-22 Raptor over northern Iraq, Nov. 6, 2019. U.S. Central Command operations deter adversaries and demonstrate support for allies and partners in the region. (Video by Staff Sgt. Daniel Snider)
Facebook
Although the Silver Star is the third-highest military medal, it's not given often. Today, TSgt Cody Smith was the 49th Special Tactics Airman to receive this medal since Sept. 11th, 2001. Read more of TSgt Smith's amazing story: https://www.airforcespecialtactics.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2024815/special-tactics-airman-battled-through-injuries-awarded-silver-star/fbclid/IwAR2LZWwx1VHdTnQe39rIEBOuJS_0JvMQBBGt7I-E6zsxxn-Lx9387yu43Bc/ Cannon Air Force Base Air Force Special Operations Command United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)
Facebook
Tune in as our Air Force musicians along with other military musicians are awarded the National Medal of Arts.
Facebook
Like Us
Twitter
1,347,434
Follow Us