Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby held a news briefing on Thursday.
Watch the in-player briefing above.
Military bases at high risk for sexual assault, harassment, and other harmful behaviors often have leaders who don’t understand violence prevention, don’t prioritize it, and focus more on their mission than their people, A Pentagon review has ended.
The review studied 20 bases in the United States and Europe, 18 of which included some of the more serious problems identified in command climate surveys. It found that failures were worse in many bases in Germany and Spain where key leaders and resources were not on site. Senior defense officials described the report to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity to discuss the findings before releasing the review publicly.
For example, at Spain’s Naval Station Rota, officials said the requirements of the military mission were “prioritized above and at the expense of the well-being of the sailors.” He said sailors reported bullying, mental health issues, sexual assault and relationship problems, but often could not seek help due to the requirements of their mission.
In one place, officials said, they found that young enlisted men were taking steps to help stay safe by keeping their female peers away from harassing more senior leaders.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin ordered the report as part of his effort to strengthen sexual assault and harassment prevention across all forces, identify which programs work and ensure those at high-risk targets Get noticed soon. Austin approved the report, and said in a memo obtained by the Associated Press that it would help the department make corrections for locations where needs may differ.
This is a developing story and will be updated.