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DOD and Coast Guard: Actions Needed to Increase Oversight and Management Information on Hazing Incidents Involving Servicemembers

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Technical Report

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U.S. Government Accountability Office Washington United States

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Initiations and rites of passage can instill esprit de corps and loyalty and are included in many traditions throughout DOD and the Coast Guard. However, at times these, and more ad hoc activities, have included cruel or abusive behavior that can undermine unit cohesion and operational effectiveness.Congress included a provision in statute for GAO to report on DOD, including each of the military services, and Coast Guard policies to prevent, and efforts to track, incidents of hazing. This report addresses the extent to which DOD and the Coast Guard, which falls under the Department of Homeland Security DHS, have 1 developed and implemented policies to address incidents of hazing, and 2 visibility over hazing incidents involving servicemembers. GAO reviewed hazing policies assessed data on hazing incidents and requirements for and methods used to track them assessed the results of organizational climate surveys that included questions on hazing conducted focus groups with servicemembers during site visits to two installations selected based on available hazing and sexual assault data, among other factors and interviewed cognizant officials.


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