Muir S. Fairchild Research Information Center Montgomery United States
Sexual assault is a serious issue, and in the military sexual assault disrupts good order and disciple, erodes morale, and distracts from protecting the nation. Congress and the American public have a growing concern for the issue of sexual assault in the military. In response to concerns, multiple legislative reforms have been enacted within the Department of Defense. Additionally, the Chief of Staff of the Air Force has made revitalizing the squadrons an important focus area calling for identification and removal of unnecessary impediments for commanders and placing command authority at the right level. Revitalizing the squadrons is disrupted, however, by unchecked sexual assault reforms that have led to a guilty until proven innocent wingman culture for anyone accused of sexual assault. By first identifying the unnecessary impediments to fair resolution of sexual assault allegations, this paper examines the questionable methods used to evaluate the extent of sexual assault in the military, the moral panic created from inflated statistics, and the impact of unchecked reforms on the military justice system, along with the obvious disparity of resources between the alleged victim and the accused. Next, this paper examines the level of disposition for sexual assault charges, the issue of confirmation bias with expedited transfers, and the lack of truth-seeking in the pre-trial process. In sum, this paper links revitalization of the squadrons and the impact of legislative reforms on those accused of sexual assault in the military.