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
Coming in hot Crew chiefs assigned to the 379th Expeditionary Air Maintenance Squadron conduct hot-refuel training… https://t.co/bOue5e3y08
Twitter
Honoring heritage. The Tuskegee Airmen were not only pilots, they were support personnel as well. Although better… https://t.co/9dJPHKfnXS
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: Thank you @Ng_Eng_Hen for welcoming me to discuss the close U.S.-Singapore security partnership. The @USAirForce looks f…
Twitter
Measuring base readiness @Spangdahlem_AB Airmen participated in a base readiness exercise on Nov. 17. During the e… https://t.co/DK6PKX7Irs
Twitter
The Digital University was recently launched to increase digital literacy, by providing access to free courses to a… https://t.co/0fq0lgPEvu
Twitter
Combat Hammer ⚒️ Airmen from Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina participated in exercise Combat Hammer, which is… https://t.co/sYUgdA0MLs
Twitter
555th Fighter Squadron Airmen prepare for takeoff during a bi-lateral exercise at Aviano Air Base, Italy. The train… https://t.co/3ZjJsLkn2O
Twitter
Train like we fight. Operators participate in the Special Operations Terminal Attack Controller Course. The 5-week… https://t.co/IOoJBrbqgO
Twitter
Twitter
RT @AFSpecOpsCmd: Specialized training ensures our Air Commandos are ready any time, any place. #ReadyAF 📸: A1C Blake Wiles https://t.co/8s…
Twitter
Strengthening readiness with dynamic force employment F-16 Fighting Falcons deployed from Spangdahlem Air Base par… https://t.co/xxEbuttB1G
Twitter
Strengthening community ties @AZNationalGuard Soldiers and Airmen served w/a national food bank to provide 1K+ tur… https://t.co/DzmCnjZIZq
Twitter
New toys 🚒 Firefighters assigned to the 422d Fire Emergency Services use a new Rosenbauer PANTHER vehicle to figh… https://t.co/DvhDRwuiYT
Twitter
RT @AF_Academy: Great grad spotlight! We’re proud of you, Keidrick! #LongBlueLine @usairforce @DeptofDefense https://t.co/LYbFtiZWr3
Twitter
Half a century of service. @SecAFOfficial called to congratulate Laura Gourgas, a longtime federal civilian employ… https://t.co/m8s21eOWnO
Twitter
Congratulations, MSgt Holly Vaught! When 20-year-old Holly Vaught walked into an Air Force recruiter’s office in t… https://t.co/NFve0Zheeg
Twitter
RT @AETCommand: Taking care of our people doesn’t just stop at the Airmen, it extends out to their families as well. During a time of crisi…
Twitter
Long haul MEDEVAC @TeamFairchild Airmen worked alongside @wyoguard to conduct an aeromedical evacuation mission, w… https://t.co/zEGFybjLFF
Twitter
The 53rd Weapons Evaluation Group hosted both Weapons System Evaluation Program East and West at @TeamTyndall and… https://t.co/If0RBeR8TJ
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
1,312,165
Follow Us