Soldiers say a training instructor sexually assaulted her while enrolled in a training course


Low-angle view of silhouette cadets marching in platoon

Low-angle view of silhouette cadets marching in platoon

US Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland, US Credit-Paul Suders-Getty Images

The US Army has suspended several drill instructors allegedly sexually assaulting trained female soldiers in Fort Sill, Oklahoma.

On Friday, Intercept The trainee reported that she claimed to have been assaulted by a total of 22 military personnel. The military did not confirm how many soldiers were involved in the allegations, but said the case was under investigation by an agent in the Army’s Criminal Investigation Command.

“At this early stage, we cannot determine the number of suspects to protect the integrity of the investigation,” Army spokeswoman Colonel Kathy Wilkinson said in a statement. “We promise to thoroughly investigate all allegations. This will take time to sort out all allegations and evidence.”

Maj. Gen. Ken Kamper, commander of Fort Sill, told reporters Thursday that the instructors were separated from their mission and prevented from interacting with the trainees. “The important thing is that the allegations were named and took immediate action against the executive members who were probably involved,” he said.

Women receive counseling, legal assistance and medical services. Her name has not been published and remains protected throughout the process. “I met this soldier personally,” Kamper said. “We are proud of her courage to move these claims forward.”

Army investigators conducted their first interview on March 27, the same day the trainees reported the attack, followed up two days later, and have interviewed Army personnel daily ever since. ..

In the military, the sexual relationship between a trainee and a trainee instructor is not considered an agreement. Because the trainee controls almost every aspect of the trainee’s life as he transitions from the civilian to the military world. In recent years, there have been several scandals in which training sergeants and drill instructors have been found to have service members who have been sexually assaulted during training.

The incident is part of a larger tragedy that has become a perennial reality for US military women. Despite years of initiative aimed at combating rape and sexual assault within the ranks, the Pentagon announces an increase in incidents each year. Sexual assault has increased steadily since 2006, up 13% in 2018 and 3% in 2019, according to the latest Pentagon report.

The Pentagon sought to provide more resources to the victims and demanded that the commander do more to stop retaliation for reporting the assault. This issue came to the fore when Army Specialist Vanessa Gillen, 20, was killed by another soldier last April. Her family claims she was afraid to report sexual harassment to her boss.

After taking over at the Pentagon in January, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin ordered military brass to work towards elimination. Sexual assault.. In one of his first official acts, he directed a thorough review of sexual assault policies and established an independent review committee.

CommitteeConsisting of military veterans and experts, this week began a 90-day investigation.

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