The announcement comes after a nine-month review of sexual assault prevention training in the military. It is the latest in a number of measures aimed at reducing sexual assault among service members.
The latest order directs all military branches to improve sexual assault prevention training for commanders and senior enlisted members, report progress to Panetta by Dec. 20, and implement changes by March 30. The branches also were ordered to review oversight of sexual assault prevention measures and report findings and recommendations to Panetta by Feb. 8.
In addition, Panetta ordered a review of basic training practices, including instructor-to-student ratios, selection and training of instructors, and the addition of more women as instructors (Wong, Washington Times, 9/25).
Panetta said there were almost 3,200 reported cases of sexual assault in the military in 2011, but the total number of assaults is likely close to 19,000 (AP/U-T San Diego, 9/25).