The Christian Science Monitor reports:
In the wake of a review ordered by the Defense secretary to help bring down rates of sexual assault, the Army is firing hundreds of soldiers from their jobs in “positions of trust.” This move has advocacy organizations alternately hailing the removals as an important step in ongoing efforts to bring down sexual assault rates, and unleashing a new string of critiques against the Pentagon.
Pressure to get a handle on rising reports of sexual assault has been increasing as the Senate schedules a vote on a bill by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D) of New York, which would take away from commanders the final say on whether prosecution of a sexual assault case proceeds. Most senior Pentagon officials strongly oppose such a move.
Hours into a congressional hearing Wednesday on the ties among sexual assault, post-traumatic stress disorder, and suicide, USA Today came out with the news about the firings: After reviewing the records of 20,000 troops, the Army was going to remove 588 sexual assault counselors, as well as recruiters and drill sergeants, because of convictions in their past – including for child abuse, stalking, drug use, drunken driving, or even sexual assault.