By Amy PerryNovember 5, 2010
FORT LEE, Va. (Nov. 4, 2010) - Fort Lee's senior commander has made his stance on sexual assault clear in a new public service announcement that will be released soon.
Maj. Gen. James L. Hodge, Combined Arms Support Command and Sustainment Center of Excellence commanding general, worked with Lauren Barboza, Army Community Service sexual assault response coordinator and one of the installation victim advocates, to record the PSA.
"Sexual assault is simply incompatible with the Army values and the warrior ethos," Hodge said during the PSA. "As Soldiers, we treat each other with respect. We watch out for one another. We take care of each other. We don't take advantage of one another.
"Our goal at Fort Lee is to prevent sexual assault, period," Hodge continued. "Rest assured that if one of these despicable acts is reported, a timely and thorough investigation will be conducted. We'll ensure that those who are found guilty of sexual assault are held accountable for their crimes. Also, rest assured that we'll ensure the victims of sexual assault are treated with dignity and respect and receive medical care and long-term support."
Barboza said it was clear to her that sexual assault prevention was important for the installation's new commanding general.
"I could tell that sexual assault issues are a priority for him," she said. "I could tell supporting the program is a priority for him. I could tell that his expectations from his senior commanders in terms of having consistent, clear policies that support the Department of Defense and Army policy of zero tolerance was out there."
Having a PSA to speak out against sexual assault is important, said Barboza. The DoD and the top Army leadership all have one.
"It's important for senior mission commanders everywhere to have a public service announcement that can be applied to the people they represent," she said.
During his PSA, Hodge encouraged the community and his leaders to take sexual assault seriously. He also encouraged victims to seek help.
"I want leaders at all levels to adhere to the Army's policy on sexual assault," Hodge said as he concluded his message. "Together, let's create an environment on this installation that eliminates instances of sexual assault and also provides compassionate care for the victims."
The PSA, which runs for two minutes, will be seen at various places across the installation. Barboza said she will make the arranges to have the video shown on Fort Lee Command Channel 70 and on the television network at the Army Logistics University. ACS is also planning to use it during its classes.