“Is this a leadership problem?” So, I think–Yes–it is a leadership problem. And because it’s a leadership problem, it leads to cultural problems. The Chairman just came out with a memo about sexual assault prevention and response month here in April, that we really focus effort on it, even though we focus year round on it… and he talked about if leaders, from the lowest tactical level
to the highest levels of command, are not all in… we won’t make the necessary impact we need. And the necessary impact is:
zero tolerance is the metric we have to use. So leaders have to be all in. And leaders being all in means they have to shape the environment they’re in… whether they’re a fire team leader at the lowest level
or a first-line leader or they’re a commander of
large group formations or a senior enlisted leader…through their example, through their promoting a healthy environment that is built on dignity and respect and so that we have a reception and
integration program for new troops, that bring them in and make them comfortable
in the new environment they’re in… that will affect and will get after some of these things. So my challenge is to leaders out there –and especially our non-commissioned officers
and petty officers– and from me through the service senior enlisted leaders all the way down to the lowest, enlisted first-line leader: We have to own this. That doesn’t mean that our commanders and our officers don’t have a piece of this. But they empower us to get out and find the blind spots in the organizations that may allow things like sexual assault to fester. So we have a responsibility to be all in. So NCOs…Petty Officers: Get after it. Because I’m coming out to check.