top-rated free essay

Air Force Academy Sexual Assault Scandal

Dec 05, 2003 949 Words
Air Force Academy Sexual Assault Scandal

Q.) What, when, where, did these incidents take place and who was involved?

A.) Officials are investigating the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs over allegations that sexual assault is rampant at the military institution. According to several former female cadets, many of whom have filed lawsuits against the school, sexual misconduct is a serious problem at the academy and has been for a number of years, possibly since women were first admitted in 1976. About 660 women are enrolled at the academy and 398 of those told the Pentagon inspector general's office this summer that they had been subjected to sexual harassment of one form or another.

A civilian commission investigating the scandal reported in September 2003 that top leaders of the Air Force ignored repeated warnings of rape and other sexual assaults at the academy and that the Air Force general counsel, Mary L. Walker, ignored the issue in a June 2003 report on rape at the school. The panel found that "since at least 1993, the highest levels of Air Force leadership have known of serious sexual misconduct problems at the academy." Several top officials at the Air Force Academy were replaced in March 2003 after allegations first emerged, but they have not been punished. HOWEVER…

There is always another side to the story… The Air Force Academy put together an investigation and came up with this conclusion. Less than 1 percent of male cadets and 5 percent of female cadets at the Air Force Academy have been involved in known sexual assault allegations over the 10-year period examined, according to the report on academy sexual misconduct released June 19. The report acknowledged that sexual assaults are underreported.

A special working group, led by Air Force General Counsel Mary L. Walker, has been investigating reports of alleged incidents of sexual assault since early this year when several allegations were made public.

"We did not find any systematic ignorance of the issue, any systematic avoidance by leadership, and we did not find any wholesale maltreatment of cadets who brought forward allegations," Walker said. "Instead, we found a fairly extensive comprehensive program to deter sexual assaults that had been put in place in 1993." Q.) What is "sexual harassment"?

A.)Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination that violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitutes sexual harassment when submission to or rejection of this conduct explicitly or implicitly affects an individual's employment, unreasonably interferes with an individual's work performance or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment.

Sexual harassment can occur in a variety of circumstances, including but not limited to the following: - The victim as well as the harasser may be a woman or a man. The victim does not have to be of the opposite sex. - The harasser can be the victim's supervisor, an agent of the employer, a supervisor in another area, a co-worker, or a non-employee. - The victim does not have to be the person harassed but could be anyone affected by the offensive conduct. - Unlawful sexual harassment may occur without economic injury to or discharge of the victim. - The harasser's conduct must be unwelcome

Q.) What is the environment? / How did this happen?

A.)The Air Force Academy's environment and statistics are as follows… The total enrollment is 4,000; about 1,200 fourth class (freshman) students enter each year. The composition of the student body mirrors that of the Air Force officer corps: about 18 percent women and 18 percent minorities. Students come from all fifty states and several other countries. Their common bond is the desire to be military officers. All cadets must live in on-campus dormitories and wear uniforms.

The environment for sexual assaults and other unacceptable behavior was created by lack of dormitory supervision and visitation rules, Failure to investigate all allegations of assault but letting the victim decide what was done in most cases. Q.) What was done to resolve the problem?

A.)The Air Force Academy has released this list of things they are going to change and/or improve. ► Narrow its definition of sexual assault.
► Investigate all allegations of assault rather than letting the victim decide what is done in most cases. ► Refine the way it responds to incidents of assault and how it informs cadets on the issues of alcohol use and consent. ► Tighten up dormitory supervision and visitation rules.

Q.) How effective were these solutions?

A.)Only time will tell, reforms and reassignment of senior leaders involved is currently an ongoing endeavor.

Q.) My opinion?

A.)I am close friends with a cadet at the Air Force Academy. The people who commit these acts are the minority. As it says in the Air Force Academy's Core Values, "Integrity first, Service before self and Excellence in all we do, set the common standard for conduct across the Air Force. These values inspire the trust which provides the unbreakable bond that unifies the force. We must practice them ourselves and expect no less from those we serve."

Hence from my experience and interaction with numerous cadets from the Air Force Academy I believe that the blame should lay on the accusers for consenting to something and later cry foul and there failure to pursue the issue, the senior leaders failure to adequately handle accusations and just the fact that in a place with some many guys and where the testosterone level must be sickening high creates a unhealthy environment for females.

Cite This Document

Related Documents

  • Air Force Academy Guide

    ...lineage from 1907 to 1947. Officials had discussed the establishment of an aeronautical academy much earlier, but it wasn’t until the Air Force became a separate service in 1947 under the National Security Act that official plans began. Still the Air Force Academy plan made little progress until 1949 when Secretary of Defense James For...

    Read More
  • Air Force Academy

    ...The honor of attending one of the Military Service Academies would be one of the highest honors to be awarded. To be afforded the opportunity to receive that type of education and training would give me the basis to meet my life goals. I have attended several excellent schools during my life and the mission statements have been "Work Study Wor...

    Read More
  • Sexual Assault

    ...Sexual Assault described in technical terms is defined as any sort of sexual activity between two or more people in which one of the people involved is involved against his or her will. (3) The description of "against his or her will" extends to varying degrees of aggression, ranging from indirect pressure to a direct physical attack. While sexu...

    Read More
  • Air Force

    ... My Path to The United States Air Force I always wanted to go into the military as a little kid. Now, actually being at the age of what I need to decide on what I’m going to do for my future is a little harder than I thought it was going to be. I have chose to do my project on The United States Air Force. It has always intrigued me t...

    Read More
  • Air Force NCO Academy Speech

    ...NCO ACADEMY SPEECH Let me start by telling you what a great honor it is to be invited to your NCO Academy Graduation Banquet and celebrate your accomplishments with you. On behalf of the Air Force, I would like to congratulate all of you on what you have accomplished over the last six weeks. It truly is a time to celebrate. Lik...

    Read More
  • Sexual Assault

    ...Sexual Assault Every two minutes, someone in the United States is sexually assaulted. In addition to rape and sexual coercion, other forms and behaviors of sexual assault include exhibiting chronic jealousy, accusing one's partner of affairs, having affairs, treating one's partner as a sex object and withholding sex. There are vic...

    Read More
  • sexual assault

    ... Rape is considered a type of sexual assault, which is initiated by one or more people against another person without that persons consent. The act may have been forced, under threat, or with a person who is incapable to give a valid consent(1). The definition of rape has changed throughout history and is different in different parts of the...

    Read More
  • Sexual Assault

    ...Sexual Assault Sexual assault occurs when a person is forced, coerced or tricked into sexual acts against their will or without their consent, or if a child or young person under 18 is exposed to sexual activities. Sexual assault is a crime. Sexual assault is not the victim's fault. Its impact on the individual, their friends, family and com...

    Read More

Discover the Best Free Essays on StudyMode

Conquer writer's block once and for all.

High Quality Essays

Our library contains thousands of carefully selected free research papers and essays.

Popular Topics

No matter the topic you're researching, chances are we have it covered.