By Michael P. Kleiman, U.S. Transportation Command Public AffairsApril 29, 2019
As Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month ends soon, U.S. Transportation Command's efforts to prevent negative behavior do not cease
SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. -- In the United States, an incident of sexual assault occurs approximately every minute and a half, impacting one in six women and one in 33 men during their lifetime.
Similarly, any occurrence of sexual assault within U.S. Transportation Command would damage the organization's warfighting readiness and global mission capability.
In a letter addressed to all DoD personnel last August, Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan said, "In addition to inflicting devastating harm on our people, sexual assault destroys the trust and cohesion that holds us together. We cannot defend our Nation, if we cannot trust each other."
At USTRANSCOM, fostering a culture of dignity, respect, and trust begins with each of the military members, federal civil servants, and contractors serving at the unified combatant command's headquarters here. Setting the example and tone also starts and stops with unit senior leadership. For instance, USTRANSCOM Chief of Staff, U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. John C. Flournoy, Jr., established a baseline for the command's culture with his 9-Line Expectations. "The first two, live your Service core values 24/7, on/off base, and in/out of uniform, as well as treat others how you want to be treated, underscore the remaining seven," General Flournoy stated. "Ultimately, we all have a responsibility to hold each other accountable." He added the command will work harder to continue making strides in meeting the Acting SECDEF's expectations of building trust and enhancing sexual assault awareness and prevention.
USTRANSCOM Senior Enlisted Leader, U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Jason L. France, echoes General Flournoy's sentiment of a command culture based on compliance that also emphasizes openness at all levels, looking out for each other, and knowing where to go to get help. "It begins with a culture of dignity, respect, and trust," said Chief France. "If an individual has a problem, he/she wants to be able to trust you to hold the information in strict confidence." In addition, he stressed the relationship between alcohol consumption and sexual assault or sexual harassment, and how having a plan, which includes a wingman, shipmate, or a battle buddy, can help prevent negative behavior from potentially occurring.
U.S. defense senior leadership are also focused on sexual assault and sexual harassment prevention and response. Earlier this month, the Air Force, Army, and Navy Secretaries conducted a national discussion on the subject at the U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland. The two-day summit also included participation by leaders from colleges and universities across America, the military service academies and the Department of Defense, as well as by members of Congress. They and other subject matter experts and stakeholders discussed messaging, suggestions, and strategies in enhancing responses to sexual assault and sexual harassment.
"Together, we can advance our mission to provide a military culture where sexual assault and other negative behaviors are not tolerated, condoned, or ignored, and alleged offenders are held appropriately accountable," stated DoD Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office Director U.S. Navy Rear Adm. Ann M. Burkhardt.
To learn more about preventing, and responding to, sexual assault or sexual harassment, please visit www.sapr.mil.
Although Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month ends tomorrow, USTRANSCOM's efforts to prevent inappropriate behavior will not cease. "We will use all forms of communication to get the word out in preventing and responding to sexual assault," General Flournoy said.
USTRANSCOM conducts globally integrated mobility operations, leads the broader Joint Deployment and Distribution Enterprise and provides enabling capabilities in order to project and sustain the Joint Force in support of national objectives.