Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel made clear “that his goal is to eradicate the crime of sexual assault from the military, and that he is open to all their ideas on how to accomplish this objective,” according to a readout from the Pentagon.
Pentagon Press Secretary George Little provided the written comments about the secretary’s meeting with the panel today.
The Response Systems to Adult Sexual Assault Crimes Panel is charged with conducting an independent review and assessment of the systems used to investigate, prosecute, and adjudicate crimes involving sexual assault and related offenses under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
It will develop recommendations to improve the effectiveness of those systems.
Hagel believes the panel’s findings and recommendations will play a critical role in ensuring that the department, working closely with Congress, makes well-informed decisions to improve sexual assault response and prevention — considering all the options on the table.
“The Secretary asked the panel to work deliberately and carefully, based on thorough research and analysis, but also emphasized the importance of acting quickly. He pledged the department’s full support for the panel’s efforts,” according to the Little press readout.
“In addition to today’s meeting, Secretary Hagel continues to hold regular weekly meetings of the top civilian and military leadership of the department focused solely on sexual assault prevention and response efforts.”