Pentagon suspends 60 military personnel after sexual assault review

6:42 PM, Aug 2, 2013   |    comments
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WASHINGTON (NEWS CENTER) - 60 military recruiters, drill instructors and sexual assault counselors have been suspended as part of a personnel review ordered by Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel.

It is likely more cases will be uncovered as the review of records for 35,000 personnel continues.

According to USA Today, investigators found violations ranging from alcohol-related offenses to child abuse to sexual assault in all 60 cases.

55 are Army soldiers, five are serving in the Navy.
An Army spokesperson says it is not yet clear if the suspended soldiers will be discharged or reassigned to other units.

NEWS CENTER inquiries as to whether any of the 60 are from Maine or work here have not yet received a response, however, Lt. Col. Cathy Wilkinson, a defense department spokesperson said: 

"The leadership of this department has no higher priority than the safety and welfare of our men and women in uniform, and that includes ensuring they are free from the threat of sexual harassment and sexual assault. In May we announced a new series of actions to further DOD's sexual assault prevention and response efforts. One of these initiatives is a directive for each service to review the credentials and qualifications of current-serving recruiters, sexual assault response coordinators and victim advocates to ensure they meet applicable selection criteria and standards of conduct. Together, everyone in this department at every level of command will continue to work together to establish an environment of dignity and respect, where sexual assault is not tolerated, condoned or ignored and where there is clear accountability placed on all leaders at every level."

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