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Refuse the COVID19 Vaccine? Article 92 consequences for refusing

The COVID-19 vaccine is not the first vaccine that military members need to receive.

An Air Force spokesperson told the Pentagon that “a total of 17 vaccines are needed for its service members under various circumstances.”

The Military Health System website Required vaccine and dosage For military personnel deployed in various parts of the world, including typhoid fever, anthrax, and yellow fever. Military law lawyer Mike Hansel explains that in most cases there are vaccine requirements in preparation for operation. Service members should always be ready to deploy.

“Historically, if people aren’t ready to operate and can’t deploy, the army won’t work,” Hansel explained. “In the event of a Pearl Harbor attack, or 9/11, people need to be ready to deploy immediately. In case of illness, they are not.”

For the results, both Hansel and another military lawyer, David P. Sheldon, referred to the same section of the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Article 92, This deals with not complying with legal orders.

“In essence, you would be accused of violating Article 92 by refusing a direct order,” Sheldon said. “And the direct order in this case is to get the vaccine.”

 Those of the discharges that may be involved here can arise through administrative or non-judicial routes, or in the most serious situations from court martial.

On the lightest management side, there is an honorable discharge. The next level is general discharge under prestigious conditions, and members can deny the benefits of the GI. The most serious administrative discharges are non-honorable discharges, often reserved due to forms of misconduct. Hansel said these are not necessarily considered punishments, but are considered characterizations.

If a service member is convicted at a court martial, it can lead to dishonorable discharge. They have the most restrictions on future enlistment and receipt of benefits. Sheldon told the validation team that while these are technically possible, they believe that refusing the vaccine is unlikely to cause such serious consequences.

“In this situation, I think it’s very unlikely, both for political reasons and simply because it’s really, really unmanageable,” Sheldon explained. “Service members are much more likely to face an administrative type of separation.”

Hansel said permanent punishment could result in how much remarks executives want to make.

“The military may set an example for those who refuse to obey this order because they need to keep order and discipline,” Hansel said.

In an August 10 interview with Fox News’ Neil Cavout, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby was able to receive counseling from an army hesitant to demonstrate the safety and efficacy of the vaccine. Said.If that didn’t make sense, he said the chain of command NS He will take administrative measures, but emphasized that the measures under the UCMJ are “very unlikely.”

All this assumes that the order is legal and both of our experts agree that it is legal. If the FDA fully approves the vaccine, it will be an airtight order, but until then, the presidential exemption will fill the licensing gap.

The warning that all vaccine obligations must be followed is two major exceptions that people can legally call: medical and religious tax exemptions, both apply here. A medical exemption by a doctor must be granted. According to Hansel, getting a religious exemption can be a little difficult.

“It needs to be a sincere religious belief,” he said. “If this religious concern began when the COVID vaccine was launched and wasn’t applied to any of the other vaccines that everyone in the military had obtained in large numbers, I think it would probably be an unsupportable argument.”

Therefore, if a military service member refuses to receive the COVID-19 vaccine without a formal exemption, he or she can be assured that he or she can be excluded from military service.

DoD could announce mandatory COVID-19 vaccine policy

Following a rise in COVID-19 cases attributed to the delta variant of the virus, multiple media outlets are reporting that Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin will seek authority to mandate vaccines for the entire active-duty force. Fox News reports that Austin is expected to formally announce a mandatory vaccine policy for active-duty troops on Friday.

Currently, vaccines for COVID-19 are not fully approved by the Food and Drug Administration and approval for use was granted under an emergency authorization. As a result, mandating the vaccine for military members requires a waiver from President Joe Biden. Fox News reports that Austin will ask for a waiver from Biden on Thursday, followed by formal guidance to the DoD on Friday.

The move toward mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations for active-duty military personnel comes a week after the Pentagon announced that DoD was in the process of consultations to “determine how and when” to recommend to Biden about adding COVID-19 vaccines to the list of mandatory immunizations troops receive.

Austin, while traveling in the Philippines last week, told a news conference that he would consult with medical professionals and the services on a timeline for implementing a new policy, according to CNN. “But we won’t let grass grow under our feet,” he said. “The President directed us to do something and we’ll get after it.”

Thursday morning, the Pentagon declined comment on reports that Austin would recommend to Biden mandatory COVID-19 vaccines for troops, instead deferring to statements spokesman John Kirby made on Tuesday.

“The secretary obviously wants to consult medical professionals as well as the services,” Kirby said at the time. “And as you know, the way the process works is he would have to request a waiver from the president to — to waive the emergency use authorization as the justification for making it involuntary. So that, as far as I know, has not occurred yet. But I, again, would point you back to what the secretary said. He’s not going to let grass grow under his feet.”

“The delta variant has certainly affected us here in the military as it has affected the rest of the country,” Kirby said. “And when we have more to say about the status of the vaccines, we’ll certainly do that. I don’t think it will be very long.”

The announcement last week that DoD was exploring the requirement of a COVID-19 vaccine for personnel came as Biden ordered that unvaccinated federal civilian workers and contractors would be subject to mandatory testing, social distancing, and masking.

“The Department of Defense is moving quickly to meet President Biden’s commitment to defeat COVID-19, and that includes being able to ensure every member of our civilian and military workforce is protected,” Jamal Brown, deputy Pentagon press secretary, said in a statement last week.

According to Fox News, about 64 percent of the active-duty-force is fully vaccinated, while 70 percent have had at least one dose of the vaccine. Overall, roughly half of the United States is fully vaccinated, and 58 percent of Americans have had at least one dose.

Additionally, the Centers for Disease Control reports more than a 64 percent increase COVID-19 cases over the last week. The spike in cases puts caseloads on par with levels in February of this year.

This is a developing story. Stay with Military Times for updates.

Don’t let the police search your phone (without a warrant)!

Military Defense Lawyer Answers Commonly Military Law Questions

Don’t let the police search your phone (without a warrant)!

YouTube video

In this video criminal defense attorney Michael Waddington discusses how to avoid a criminal conviction. The easiest way to avoid a criminal conviction is to not commit any crimes. However, even if you’re innocent, don’t speak to the police or give them your cell phone. Call 1-800-921-8607 to speak with a criminal defense attorney today.

Don’t let the police search your phone (without a warrant)!

Criminal Defense Attorney explains in  this video.

What To Expect When Facing A Court-Martial?

Suppose you’re facing a potential court-martial trial and you aren’t exactly sure what it is and how it can affect your life. In general, any person associated with the U.S. military could potentially face a court-martial from the Uniform Code of Military Justice for committing offenses against U.S. military law. If an accused party is found guilty, the punishment usually depends on the crimes and can include reduction in grade, confinement, a punitive discharge, and even prison.

Any member of the armed forces can be accused and end up facing a trial due to unfortunate circumstances. For that reason, if you ever find yourself accused of misconduct and face a court-martial, it’s best to hire an experienced court martial attorney to steer you through the process.

What To Expect When Facing A Court-Martial?

When facing a court-martial, you can presume that the process will be long and arduous. Most investigations can drag on for multiple months before a final decision is made. In brief, as soon as the investigation is concluded, a high-ranking military official will decide whether you’ll face court-martial charges or not. The entire process from being initially charged to trial can take between eight weeks and eight months to process.

Pre-Trial Procedures For Court-Martial

Facing a Court-Martial

At this early stage, the accused party facing a court-martial will be invited to the commander’s office, usually in full-service uniform. The accused is anticipated to stand in attention in the commander’s presence and other high-ranking military officials. These military officials are likely to include a First Sergeant, supervisor, and members from the prosecution’s legal office. A complete script detailing the accusation will be read to the accused, who’s foreseen to remain silent during the process.

The Discovery Phase

The whole process starts with “discovery” being demanded by the uniformed member’s defense lawyer. This allows attorneys to receive documents from the prosecution which inform the defense about all evidence. During the discovery phase, gathering additional exculpatory declarations or documents could heavily influence the case’s outcome.

Final Preparations

Besides motions, which are requests to the judge in the form of written legal documents which might limit or completely prohibit a particular piece of evidence from being used in the trial, the final preparations before the trial include witness interviews, prepping clients, and deciding upon trial strategies and tactics.

Types Of Court-Martial

There are three different types of court-martial which a military member may encounter:

Summary Court-Martial

When a military member gets convicted of a summary court-martial, depending on their rank, the maximum sentence they may face is 30 days of confinement, reduction to E-1, 45 days of unconfined hard labor, and a reduced monthly salary to one third. These types of court-martial can’t result in a discharge of the military, and the process doesn’t involve a judge or jury.

Special Court-Martial

This type of court-martial involves a judge and a panel. The punishments handed out from these are harsher than those from summary court-martial and less severe than the third type of court-martial. The max sentences include one year of confinement, reduced wages to one-third for six months, reduced E-1, hard labor, and restriction.

General Court-Martial

The max sentence in a general court-martial is dependent on the offense committed. If there’s a probable cause, this can be determined by a neutral military lawyer, called a preliminary hearing officer, after an Article 32 hearing. Like special court-martial, a two-thirds majority is demanded from the panel for a conviction. This proportion may be increased to three-quarters if the sentence exceeds ten years of confinement.

Court-Martial Sentencing

If found guilty, the next phase of the court-martial procedure is sentencing. First, the evidence is presented to the court by the government before the defense attorney has the opportunity to respond. The response is a real chance to present any mitigating evidence that may reduce the final sentence.

What To Expect When Facing A Court-Martial?

Photo from The Sun

This can involve any evidence that speaks to the defendant’s character or previous actions that suggest that the defendant deserves a less severe sentence. After this phase of the process, the panel must make up their minds and agree on the verdict. If the sentence comprises confinement, the guilty party or parties will be taken into custody upon the ending of the trial.

Final Thoughts

So, now that you know what to expect from it if you’re facing a court-martial proceeding, try to stay as calm as possible during the process and prepare a winning strategy to keep yourself out of trouble. For that reason, you should consider seeking the assistance of an experienced court-martial attorney to represent you during the case to ensure that you’ll get the most favorable outcome out of it.

GOMORs For Unvaccinated Troops Caught Unmasked | UCMJ Defense

Leaders at Fort Knox, Kentucky, will punish dozens of soldiers unvaccinated against COVID-19 who were caught entering on-post facilities without wearing a face mask last week, Army officials confirmed.

“The Fort Knox senior commander [Maj. Gen. John Evans] and other commanding generals across Fort Knox are preparing to issue approximately 40 General Officer Memoranda of Reprimand to individuals found to have violated General Order Number 1, dated 17 May 2021,” said Fort Knox spokesperson Kyle Hodges in a statement emailed to Army Times.

GOMORs are a dreaded form of administrative punishment considered to be a “career-killer” when included in a soldier’s permanent personnel file, though the Army has faced criticism in the past for utilizing them and other administrative punishments in lieu of court-martial proceedings for more serious infractions of discipline.

The reprimands are among the first publicly-acknowledged punishments for U.S. troops who have declined the COVID-19 vaccine but failed to wear masks.

We have soldiers on the installation who are unvaccinated, but are judiciously and conscientiously following masking guidelines,” Hodges said.

Fort Knox officials did not specify whether the GOMORs would be filed in the offenders’ permanent records or merely retained locally and then destroyed once the soldiers were reassigned.

But in line with current Defense Department and Army policy, the Fort Knox general order requires that troops who have declined the COVID-19 vaccine wear masks when inside of public facilities on post. The order also states that “all persons on Fort Knox may be required to show proof of vaccination in order to access and remain in Fort Knox workplaces and facilities without wearing a mask.”

Under the order, vaccinated soldiers do not need to wear face masks.

The unvaccinated, unmasked personnel were directly caught by Fort Knox senior leaders while trying to enter public buildings on-post, Hodges said.

“In just a matter of hours last week, during random inspections, senior Fort Knox leaders identified several dozen unvaccinated individuals attempted to enter on-post facilities such as the Shoppette and Post Exchange without masks,” Hodges said. “These unmasked individuals failed to provide proof of vaccination.”

Fort Knox officials insisted that the move was directly related to protecting troops against the virus, especially its new Delta variant, which seemingly infects even fully vaccinated people with ease.

“By law and regulation, the senior commander at each installation is responsible for the maintenance of good order and discipline, including force health protection,” Hodges added. “As the Delta variant of COVID-19 spreads rapidly across the nation, Fort Knox leaders must continue to ensure the health and safety of those working on the installation and also protect the surrounding community.”

Fort Knox is home to more than 25,000 soldiers assigned to Cadet Command, Recruiting Command, Human Resources Command, and 1st Theater Sustainment Command, among others according to its website.

Hodges said the punishment were a matter of standards, too.

“At the core, this is about enforcing standards and taking care of people,” he said.

Drunk female Royal Navy sailor, 31, who sexually assaulted

A female Royal Navy sailor has been dismissed for sexually assaulting three male colleagues after a drinking session during a cold weather survival expedition in Norway.

Able Seaman Jodie McSkimmings, 31, straddled one sailor and pinned him on a bed before groping him and two others during a drunken ‘spree’, a court martial heard.

McSkimmings committed five offenses over the space of five hours after drinking at least six cans of beer and a bottle of wine.

It saw her demand kisses from male colleagues, refusing to take no for an answer and then trying to undress them.

As well as the three sexual assaults, she also tried to sit on a Sergeant’s lap before hitting him and then punched a Corporal full in the face while holding a beer can.

AB McSkimmings was based at HMS Neptune, the shore establishment at HMNB Clyde, when she was deployed with the 45 Commando Royal Marine Regiment to Norway in 2020.

Prosecutor Lieutenant Colonel Michael Culver said her first victim saw her ‘swigging from a bottle of wine’ before inviting him into one of the bedrooms during the deployment.

LtCol Culver told Bulford Military Court, Wilts: ‘After about five minutes of normal talking she then began to repeatedly and explicitly seek not just a kiss but also sexual relations with him.

Able Seaman Jodie McSkimmings, 31, (pictured) straddled one sailor and pinned him on a bed before groping him and two others during a drunken 'spree', a court martial heard

Able Seaman Jodie McSkimmings, 31, (pictured) straddled one sailor and pinned him on a bed before groping him and two others during a drunken ‘spree’, a court martial heard

Able Seaman McSkimming at Bulford Military Court which heard details of her drunken night

Able Seaman McSkimming at Bulford Military Court which heard details of her drunken night.

Judge Advocate Alistair McGrigor said it had been a fairly depressing case as he dismissed her

Judge Advocate Alistair McGrigor said it had been a fairly depressing case as he dismissed her.

‘He said to her repeatedly that he refused and said she was drunk.

‘She nonetheless proceeded to straddle him, using her body weight to pin him on the bed. She kissed his mouth and put her hand inside his t-shirt to try to unbutton his trousers.

‘She placed his hand on her buttock. He objected several times and then she did stop but proceeded to hurl abuse at him.’

The court heard she later invited another male colleague into the same room where the first sexual assault happened.

LtCol Culver added: ‘He declined but she was insistent and he complied with her request in order to keep her calm.

‘Again she asked initially for a kiss, he said no and that he had a girlfriend.

‘She repeated and was persistent in demanding kisses.

‘She said ‘it’s only me and you here and nobody needs to find out’. He said ‘that’s not the point, I don’t want to’.

She had previously been stationed at HMNB Clyde at Faslane in Scotland

‘He said he was going to leave and she placed her left hand on his crotch.

‘He said ‘what are you doing’ and asked her to get off him and she left the room muttering after that, leaving him shocked.’

Later that evening, at about 7.30pm, AB McSkimmings was taking part in a quiz in the mess hall.

The court heard she tried to sit on the lap of Sergeant Scott Mitchell but he told her he ‘wasn’t impressed’.

LtCol Culver added: ‘Sgt Mitchell describes a punch at 100 per cent force to his lower back. He asked her what was that and she said ‘I will fucking do you in, you are taking the piss out of me’.’

The officer told her to calm down but she then turned her attention to Corporal Stewart Duggans, who was also on their quiz team.

The court heard: ‘She stared at him for two seconds and punched him in the face with a hand in which she was holding a beer can.

‘She punched him with enough force to completely crush the beer can, dispensing beer over his face and clothes.’

Later that evening, at about 9pm, AB McSkimmings entered the room of another male colleague.

LtCol Culver added: ‘She started trying to unzip his trousers and he objected, saying he had a girlfriend.

‘He pushed her hand away and she attempted to grab his zip a further two more times.

‘He felt shocked, confused and uncomfortable. She eventually stopped and stood up, walked out the room and as she did so she said ‘f**K you then’.’

She admitted three charges of sexual assault, a charge of battery and a charge of using violence against a superior officer.

Mitigating, James Cassels said AB McSkimmings was in a ‘head on’ car crash in December 2019 so was ‘vulnerable’ when she joined the 45 Commandos in Norway in January 2020.

He outlined a history of mental health issues including depression and said she was still struggling with this at the time of the incidents due to suffering ‘misogynistic bullying’ from colleagues.

He said: ‘This is a fairly depressing case for me to dealt with and I have dealt with many.

‘She was the only female out and about with them… she felt isolated… she felt she was put down.

‘People were sexually abusive, verbally and misogynistic and this undermined her confidence to such an extent that she felt totally isolated.’

He explained she had been on a museum trip that morning and had had about six beers before heading back to camp, where she drank a bottle of wine and the incidents began.

Sentencing her, Judge Advocate Alistair McGrigor said: ‘Over a period of five hours you were, and remained, so intoxicated that you had no recollection of the events.

‘These are very serious matters, both of a sexual and violent nature. We accept that challenging behaviour by your male colleagues took place that significantly impaired your mental health.

‘You say you drank to block out the misery you found yourself in but you did so voluntarily.’

She was dismissed from the Royal Navy and ordered to do 120 hours of unpaid work and 20 rehabilitation days.

Command sergeant major at 2nd ID Artillery sexually abused subordinate

The former senior enlisted leader of the 2nd Infantry Division Artillery faces a general court-martial in October over charges of sexual misconduct.

Sgt. Maj. Dustin Bice was relieved from his leadership position once the criminal charges were referred to a court-martial, according to Sgt. 1st Class Chris Harper, a spokesperson for the 7th Infantry Division, which maintains administrative control of all 2nd Infantry Division units at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington.

Bice is charged with “offenses related to sexual harassment and abusive sexual contact against a subordinate,” Harper told Army Times. “Charges are merely accusations and the accused is presumed innocent until proven guilty.”

He has pled not guilty, according to court-martial records and his attorney.

“We look forward to having our day in court to tell the real story and to clear his good name,” said Jocelyn Stewart, his attorney.

A charge sheet obtained by Army Times stated that Bice groped a subordinate on the breast, buttocks and thigh without her consent. The alleged abusive sexual contact took place in February.

The sergeant major also reportedly told the soldier to delete her text messages in an effort to obstruct justice, according to the charge sheet.

Prosecutors also charged Bice with assault, attempted fraternization, maltreatment of a subordinate and disobeying regulations prohibiting sexual harassment.

Harper emphasized that the command prioritizes addressing sexual misconduct by senior leaders.

“As in any case of sexual harassment, these allegations of senior leader misconduct are taken very seriously and investigated thoroughly prior to disposition,” Harper said.

“Sergeant Major Bice has served with distinction in a dedicated career spanning more than 26 years, including being awarded 4 Bronze Stars, a Purple Heart, and 2 Meritorious Service Medals. From the start he has strongly denied any wrongdoing surrounding the spurious allegations against him,” said Stewart, Bice’s attorney. “In the current climate, the Army ignores the side of the person who is accused, and every allegation moves forward without any meaningful investigation.”

Bice is not the only former command sergeant major to face criminal charges for sexual misconduct this year.

A former Fort Bragg, North Carolina, sergeant major will go to trial for an alleged sexual assault in October, in addition to charges of desertion, extortion, and destroying evidence before his previous court-martial.

The former command sergeant major of Winn Army Community Hospital at Fort Stewart, Georgia, was also sentenced to six months of confinement and dropped in rank to specialist after he was convicted of sexual misconduct in April.

And the former senior enlisted leader of the 4th Infantry Division Artillery was sentenced last month after pleading guilty to an inappropriate relationship with a subordinate and sending lewd text messages to a woman.

That soldier, now-Sgt. 1st Class Benito Perez, was initially charged with sexually assaulting a minor — the same woman to whom he was convicted of sending lewd text messages — but the child sex charges were dropped as part of a plea agreement, according to The Gazette.

 

 

 

Fort Leonard Wood chaplain to plead guilty to child sexual abuse

He is the second religious leader at Fort Leonard Wood to face chid sex assault charges this year.

An Army chaplain is expected to plead guilty at a court martial hearing next week after being charged with over a dozen counts of rape and child sexual assault.

Capt. Jeremy Dunn, assigned to the 3rd Chemical Brigade at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, is being court-martialed on July 14. Dunn was the chaplain for the brigade’s 1st Battalion, 48th Infantry Regiment at the time he was charged.

internet sex crimes

He was charged with six counts of child sexual assault, four counts of rape, and three counts of sexual assault, according to his charge sheet. He was notified of the charges in April. Army Times first reported the charges.

Dunn was “originally charged with 22 specifications among five charges,” and is pleading guilty on July 14 to four specifications on two charges — rape of a child, sexual act on a child, rape by force, and sexual assault without consent, according to Dunn’s attorney, Joe Flees.

The plea agreement allows for sentencing between 10 and 18 years, according to Flees, who anticipates the government will seek an 18-year sentence.

“The military judge will determine his punishment within that range and we will respect whatever decision she makes,” Flees said.

Dunn’s alleged sexual assaults span years — the earliest assault specified in his charge sheet happened in 2015, the latest in 2019 — and occurred at or near Fort Leonard Wood and Fort Belvoir, Virginia. Wood confirmed that the alleged assaults were all against one victim.

Dunn’s charges come just months after a former Army National Guard soldier who served as the director of youth ministry at Fort Leonard Wood pleaded guilty to four counts of sexually abusing a minor, and one count of transporting a minor to engage in criminal sexual activity.

1st Sgt. David McKay admitted in April to sexually abusing four victims, ages 11 to 17, “on dozens of occasions” between 2010 and 2017, according to a Justice Department press release. The abuse happened at Fort Leonard Wood, as well as in Colorado on the youth group’s ski trip, and on camping trips.

McKay faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in federal prison, up to a sentence of life in prison without parole.

Federal ‘Vanessa Guillen’ Act introduced, data reveals risk of sexual

Dónde está Vanessa Guillén? Misteriosa desaparición de soldado dentro de base militar, se quejaba de acoso - Los Angeles Times

by: Erin Coulehan

Posted:  Updated: 

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — Christian Alvarado never thought he’d be convicted of sexually assaulting Pfc. Asia Graham and other women.

“These [expletive] are going to trip when I walk out of this,” Alvarado told Maj. Natalia Cardona, the military forensic psychologist who evaluated him as part of a general court-martial.

Alvarado’s statement prior to being convicted and sentenced to 18 years underscores the attitudes that lawmakers and advocates say are emblematic of the need for military justice reform when it comes to sexual assault.

“We’re here today because every year, 20,000 service members are sexually assaulted and another 100,000 are sexually harassed,” Rep. Jackie Speier, D-California, said in a news conference on Wednesday.

Rep. Veronica Escobar, D-Texas, joined Speier and a coterie of legislators from both parties and chambers of the U.S. Congress to introduce the Vanessa Guillen Military Justice Improvement and Increasing Prevention Act. The bipartisan and bicameral bill would transfer the decision to prosecute serious crimes in the military from the chain of command and into the hands of trained, independent military prosecutors. Escobar is co-leading efforts on the House side.

U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-New York, introduced the Military Justice Improvement and Increasing Prevention Act (MJIIPA) to the Senate earlier this week. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas,. is also working on the act.

“For eight years, I have proudly worked hand-in-hand with Sen. Gillibrand on this crucial, bipartisan legislation to combat sexual violence in our nation’s military,” Cruz wrote in an email to KTSM 9 News. “Unfortunately, sexual assault within the ranks continues to be a substantial problem facing our service members — and it’s one we must address decisively.”

The continued calls for legislation come in the wake of Graham’s death and the murder of Spc. Vanessa Guillen following separate incidents of sexual assault while enlisted in the military.

“The fact remains, under the status quo, too many victims are reluctant to come forward and report these horrific crimes,” Cruz wrote. “Moving prosecution of sexual assaults outside of the chain of command can help prevent those assaults by increasing reporting throughout our military and assuring victims that any possible conflicts with their command structure won’t affect their case.”

Analyses of sexual assault and sexual harassment in the U.S. Army was conducted at the request of the U.S. Army’s Deputy Chief of Staff, G-1 to evaluate where and why incidents are most prevalent. The analyses found the average total risk to all women in the Army overall is 5.8 percent, but that some groups of women face a much higher risk of sexual assault/harassment based on the installation that they’re assigned to.

Fort Bliss was found to have the second-highest risk for women with a rate of 7.6 percent. The study found that Fort Hood has the highest risk for sexual assault, at 8.4 percent. The study’s authors reported that about 1 in 12 women at Fort Hood are sexually assaulted.

Additional risk was identified based on commands and career fields. The commands with the highest total risk for women are combat units, particularly the 1st Cavalry Division (with a risk of 9.3 percent), Headquarters, III Corps (8.1 percent overall risk), both at Fort Hood; and the 1st Armored Division (8.5 percent), which is at Fort Bliss.

Women in artillery careers were found to have the highest total risk of sexual assault at a rate of 10.6 percent out of all groups of soldiers evaluated.

The study’s researchers say one explanation is that both Fort Hood and Fort Bliss have large volumes of young, unmarried women who are junior-ranking soldiers.

The research team also examined adjusted risk, which evaluates the risk of sexual assault and harassment on an installation-by-installation basis. Again, Fort Hood and Fort Bliss were reported to have high adjusted risk, meaning that women at these installations are at greater risk of sexual assault than at comparative bases. Men in the Army, by contrast, were found to have an overall risk of 0.6 percent of sexual assault and 6.5 percent overall risk of sexual harassment.

The researchers’ recommendation is to optimize reductions in sexual assault rates by offering enhanced and expanded prevention programs to installations, commands and career fields where soldiers are most at risk. An additional recommendation for the researchers is to collect survey data to quickly and efficiently identify units, commands, bases, career fields and other groups at risk for sexual assault and harassment.

Proposed legislation and recommendations by researchers also urge the implementation of preventative efforts. Research suggests that the climate of a particular base of unit plays a role in the prevalence of sexual assault or harassment.

“Groups of soldiers that have better supervisor unit and unit climate scores tend to have lower adjusted sexual assault risk and sexual harassment risk scores, while groups with worse climate scores have higher adjusted risk,” according to the study.

Another recommendation is to develop climate-improvement interventions for commands, installations and career fields with elevated adjusted risk for sexual assault and harassment and poor climate scores.

Other characteristics were identified with elevated risks of sexual assault among women in the military, particularly groups with large proportions of soldiers with combat arms jobs. The recommendation is to examine the distinctions between service members’ experiences in similar groups with different risk profiles in order to determine factors such as work life, social life, culture, etc., that could contribute to disparities when it comes to sexual assault/harassment exposure.

The authors of the study stress conducting studies and sharing historical sexual assault risk and harassment data with unit commanders.

“When we have a system that fails victims, everyone is failed. Because everyone is a potential victim,” said Rep. Michael R. Turner, R-Ohio.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is looking to the future and is confident the bill will pass quickly in the House and Senate.

Legislators working on the bill said they wanted to also remember the lives lost before introduction of the legislation.

“We come together today with one voice, with one plan, to save service members from the fates of Specialist Guillen, Private First Class Asia Graham, Airman First Class Natasha Aposhian,” said Speier.

Fort Bliss soldier found guilty on two sexual assault charges

Christian Alvarado/Courtesy EPPD.

El Paso, Texas (KTSM) — Pfc. Christian Alvarado was found guilty Friday of raping fellow Fort Bliss soldier Pfc. Asia Graham. He was sentenced to 18 years and three months, with 108 days credited. He was also dishonorably discharged.

Shortly after 2 p.m. on Friday, Judge Col. Robert Shuck issued his verdicts.

Alvarado was found guilty on the sexual assault of Graham, the sexual assault and rape of a second accuser and guilty on one count of intentionally deceiving military investigators. He was found not guilty of an alleged assault in a hotel, and not guilty of the two counts of sexual assault alleged by a former girlfriend in Mesa, Ariz.

Graham was found dead on New Year’s Eve 2020.

The judge presiding over the general court-martial of Pfc. Christian Alvarado, who faces multiple counts of sexual assault and strangulation, adjourned the court around 11 a.m. Friday to begin deliberations.

Both parties gave their closing arguments to a packed court room this morning over the course of two tense hours.

All three accusers, their families, and the Graham family were present Friday and awaiting the verdict.

As KTSM reported before, Alvarado testified Thursday that Pfc. Asia Graham twice pressured him to sell “vape juice” cartridges for synthetic cannabis pens.

Graham, whom military officials say died of an accidental mixed-drug intoxication on New Year’s Eve 2020, accused Alvarado of sexually assaulting her when she had just arrived at Fort Bliss in December 2019. Graham filed a report against Alvarado in May 2020.

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