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Old 07-30-2012, 08:13 AM
 
Location: San Antonio
3,184 posts, read 9,227,803 times
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With over 1 million people wearing the uniform, some bad apples can be expected.
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Old 05-24-2013, 07:21 AM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
29,723 posts, read 47,495,927 times
Reputation: 17577
I do not know what the best solution would be.

Under current policy;
a- the first time that anyone feels harassed they are to tell the person doing the harassing.

b- The second time they are to tell a supervisor. The supervisor is required to do a written counseling sheet and explain that with one more instance the harasser will be processed out of the Navy with no due process.

c- the third time that a person feels harassed, they are to tell a supervisor, and within 2 weeks the harasser should be a civilian.



Sexual harassment 'training' is normally conducted twice every year. So everyone knows the procedures.



During my career, I saw 'sexual harassment' three times.

The first time, I was doing LEO duties, and I was called in for a counseling session with my supervisor, I was given a counseling sheet to sign. It was explained to me that if it happened again, I would be processed out of the Navy. During that session, I asked the supervisor repeatedly who the person was that had felt harassed. He refused to tell me. Just that if it happened again I would be booted out. After that counseling session, I was told that my assignment for the day was to be in a patrol car doing a specific zone, and my partner was going to be the female harassee that I had harassed. I was then introduced to the female who had complained about me. I was very conflicted. I spent the next 12 hours in that patrol car with her, responding to traffic accidents, etc; but I tried to never look in her direction, and I avoided speaking with her. Having already been counseled, it had a great effect on working conditions. During that 3 year tour, I doubt if I spoke to her more than 10 words. I tried my utmost to avoid being in her presence, and always I tried to arrange it to have a third person witness. [but I was not always successful in having a witness present].

The second time, I was back on a sub [all male crew]. After a few weeks underwater, one of our Junior Officers made a complaint to an enlisted watch-stander that he felt harassed by the presence of a photograph of the enlistedman's wife. The photo had been taped to a clipboard, that the watchstander was using to write his logs on. [You had to flip a dozen pages up to see the photo taped to the clipboard]. The photo was from a family picnic, the wife did have a nice smile though, she was fully clothed. In that case, the watchstander was immediately counseled by his chief in a written counseling sheet, and told that if anyone else ever saw any photos of his wife, then he would be booted out. The entire crew then spent a week where every day each division had sex harassment training, and did skits. After that, all photos of wives and girlfriends pretty much disappeared. All crewmen hid their photos. Talking about our homes, wives or children stopped. That certainly changed the atmosphere on that sub for the next few years.

The third time, I was overseas doing LEO duties. I was in charge of 40 MPs, we were doing the normal 12hour shifts, 12 on / 12 off, a month of days, a month of nights. A female MP came to me and reported that she felt she was being harassed by a male MP, and that she had already told him. I was not going to counsel a female in my office without a witness present, so I contacted a female NCO to debrief the female MP. While I did the written counseling with the male MP who had been harassing her. He was very mouthy, he hated serving with females. He felt that only males should enlist, that females do not belong in uniform.
The next day, I was counseled for allowing such an incident to happen among my people, I was relieved of my job for obvious lack of leadership ability. They found a desk job for me. The female was transferred to a different command. The male MP who had been doing the harassing, was reassigned an office job. In a month the command had him entered into an OCS program. When I retired a year later, he left the same time, to go become a commissioned officer. The last time I spoke with him, he was still mouthy and openly hated females being in uniform.



I do not know, how to fix the problem.

If you feel harassed, then you are. There is no policy on what makes harassment outside of whatever causes you to feel harassed. If you feel it, then you are. There is no need for witnesses, and when you have been accused of harassment there is no defense. A harassor and harassee have no need to have ever seen each other, or have spoken with each other. There is no obligation to explain what the harassment is, no requirement to 'prove' any action, or non-action.

I am very glad that I retired and got away from that stuff.
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Old 05-24-2013, 07:38 AM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
29,723 posts, read 47,495,927 times
Reputation: 17577
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike from back east View Post
Dishing out some SERIOUSLY long prison sentences to the offenders would be a good start.
Our system for prosecuting criminal offences starts with a crime. Then a prosecution process with witnesses and evidence. Possibly a defense. Before sentencing.

With Sexual harassment there is no 'crime', in the context that no part of the UCMJ was violated. So there is no due process.

Was something stolen? No.

Was there physical contact between two parties? Maybe, but likely no.

Was there verbal communication between the two parties? Maybe, but likely no.

Did the two parties know each other, or have they ever been in each other's presence? Maybe, but not necessarily.



Sexual harassment is about how you feel in a circumstance, inside your head. A person is doing a behavior that they have done for years, nobody has ever complained, and perhaps that person has even been complimented for the behavior.

You see the behavior and you feel harassed. Or you hear about the behavior third-person, and even though you have never seen the behavior, hearing about it makes you feel uncomfortable. That feeling you have defines harassment.

There is no list of behaviors that make harassment. As a harassee when you feel harassed, you never have to explain what the harassment is. The only criteria is that you feel harassed.
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Old 05-24-2013, 07:56 AM
 
12,655 posts, read 12,078,941 times
Reputation: 17299
I have more than a few stories about sexual harrassment when I was in the Navy. The bar is set so low sometimes, and the whole system seems to be such a mess, I cannot even express it here. In one instance just a conversaiotn can solicit a harrassment charge; yet another can have actual physical contact and no formal counseling or anything is done; it is just very inconsistent.

One quick story is I was a watch commander and there was a female watch standard from the host country their. I spoke a few words only, in front of four other people, including another from the host country; yet it comes back from word of mouth that she stated "I think your watch commander likes me"; WTF! Seriously, I cannot beleive that someone is so screwed in the head that they can interprete instructions about operational matters in that way.

I was in the all male sub force; the few years I was in the mixed gender female force was just one long headache.

The military is a polarizing institution; it has some of the best, and some of the worst. there are many females (and males) that come from some screwed up backgrounds, and their head and way of thinking is screwed as well. The easiest way to gain attention is to scream "sexual harrassment"; and many seem to have this need for attention of any kind no matter the circumstances.
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Old 05-24-2013, 08:12 AM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
29,723 posts, read 47,495,927 times
Reputation: 17577
For a long time, I heard many stories about sexual harassment. Which made the idea of going from an all-male work atmosphere to a mixed gender atmosphere very scary.

But then, I saw it on a sub. So it happens even among all-male crews.

For purposes of this thread, I only related the 3 instances where I know certain these are not sea-stories. The three I explained are real-life 'sexual harassment' in the workforce.

Over the years, I have worked with many sailors who all had stories of sexual harassment from previous commands.

Sexual harassment is totally different from prosecuting crimes under the UCMJ.

Like you said, even by having multiple witnesses present, does not stop harassment from happening.
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Old 05-24-2013, 12:25 PM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
29,723 posts, read 47,495,927 times
Reputation: 17577
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike from back east View Post
Dishing out some SERIOUSLY long prison sentences to the offenders would be a good start.
I just received an email from my Senator who is "Combating the Scourge of Sexual Assault in the Military".

She wants to ensure victims of harassment are granted expedited transfers away from the geographic location, and I guess mandatory prison sentences for offenders.
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Old 05-24-2013, 01:42 PM
 
12,655 posts, read 12,078,941 times
Reputation: 17299
Quote:
Originally Posted by Submariner View Post
I just received an email from my Senator who is "Combating the Scourge of Sexual Assault in the Military".

She wants to ensure victims of harassment are granted expedited transfers away from the geographic location, and I guess mandatory prison sentences for offenders.
So she wants to force the victim to be transferred? Or is the vicitm given the option?

I ask because some duty stations/commands are nice, it would be a punishment to get sent to some places/commands.
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Old 05-24-2013, 03:48 PM
 
Location: New Mexico U.S.A.
24,138 posts, read 38,883,622 times
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The subject has been creeping up in the news recently...

Quote:
Hagel orders review of sex-abuse prevention
May. 17, 2013 - 06:00AM
WASHINGTON — Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Friday ordered the military to recertify all 25,000 people involved in programs designed to prevent and respond to sexual assault, an acknowledgement that assaults have escalated beyond the Pentagon's control.

He said this step, which also applies to the military's approximately 19,000 recruiters and must be completed by July 1, is one among many that will be taken to fix the problem of sexual abuse and sexual harassment within every branch of the military.

At a news conference with Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Hagel said he believes alcohol use is "a very big factor" in many sexual assault and sexual harassment cases, but there are many pieces to the problem.

He and Dempsey spoke one day after all of the military's leadership were summoned to the White House to discuss the sexual assault problem with President Barack Obama, who has expressed impatience with the Pentagon's failure to solve it.
Hagel orders review of sex-abuse prevention | Military Times | militarytimes.com
Quote:
Lawmakers intensify push on military sexual assault problem
WASHINGTON, Thu May 23, 2013

(Reuters) - Lawmakers introduced fresh legislation on Thursday seeking to address the problem of sexual assault in the military and summoned the nation's top commanders to testify about the crisis, which has become an embarrassment to the armed forces.
Lawmakers intensify push on military sexual assault problem | Reuters

Quote:
Senator: Assaults let military culture continue
May 23, 2013 3:28 pm • Associated Press

Charges that an Army sergeant secretly photographed and videotaped women at West Point are part of a military-wide pattern of sexual misconduct, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York said Thursday.

The military has been rocked by a series of arrests and incidents of sexual misconduct. But the news from the venerable U.S. Military Academy _ where the motto is "Duty. Honor. Country." _ could be particularly embarrassing. The Army said Wednesday that a sergeant at West Point had been charged with secretly photographing and videotaping at least a dozen women at the academy, including in a bathroom.

The allegation comes the same month the Pentagon released a report estimating that as many as 26,000 military members may have been sexually assaulted last year and that thousands of victims are unwilling to come forward despite new oversight and assistance programs.
Senator: Assaults let military culture continue
Quote:
Senator: West Point incident illustrates culture of sexual misconduct in military
May. 23, 2013

ALBANY, N.Y. — Charges that an Army sergeant secretly photographed and videotaped women at West Point are part of a military-wide pattern of sexual misconduct, U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand said Thursday.

The military has been rocked by a series of arrests and incidents of sexual misconduct. But the news from the venerable U.S. Military Academy — where the motto is “Duty. Honor. Country.” — could be particularly embarrassing. The Army said Wednesday that a sergeant at West Point had been charged with secretly photographing and videotaping at least a dozen women at the academy, including in a bathroom.
Senator: West Point incident illustrates culture of sexual misconduct in military | Military Times | militarytimes.com

Quote:
Obama condemns military sexual harassment in Navy Academy speech
President tells Annapolis graduates that sexual assault 'has no place in the greatest military on earth'

Associated Press in Annapolis
guardian.co.uk, Friday 24 May 2013

President Barack Obama on Friday urged US Naval Academy graduates to remember that their honor depends on what they do when nobody is looking, and said that sexual assault has "no place in the greatest military on earth".
Obama condemns military sexual harassment in Navy Academy speech | World news | guardian.co.uk

Quote:
United States: Debate Over Our "Sexual Harassment In The Military" Posts Continues

Michele Sommer, a Senior HR business partner in the New York area, responded to a critique of a previous post of ours, written by Anthony Vieira, Esq., which we reprinted at Reader Takes Issue With Our Post About Harassment In The Military.

Among other things, Mr. Viera said that "there are more than 2.2 million personnel serving in our US armed forces. That today we have "Another" sexual assault is an issue for the people and the command involved. Your trying to go further and loop it into some embedded pattern of conduct is lawyer talk and nothing more"

Last Updated: May 24 2013
Article by Richard B. Cohen
Fox Rothschild LLP
Debate Over Our "Sexual Harassment In The Military" Posts Continues - Employment and HR - United States
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Old 05-24-2013, 04:49 PM
 
Location: Tampa, FL
27,798 posts, read 24,867,080 times
Reputation: 14611
Quote:
Originally Posted by CAVA1990 View Post
What steps should be taken to reduce what seems to be a major problem?
This stuff has got to stop. Criminal stuff - handle them like criminals. Also, major embarrassment to all who have served. These acts have diminished so much of what our military has accomplished. But this is nothing new. Has been going on for as long as women have been added to the military ranks.
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Old 05-24-2013, 04:58 PM
 
Location: Florida
3,192 posts, read 4,236,484 times
Reputation: 9431
One thing I see is that those found guilty, and not just of sexual harassment but other things as well, is that they're allowed to stay in the military or they're retired with benefits.

They should be dishonorably discharged with no benefits and not be allowed to retire.
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