The Pentagon laid out its plan to address sexual assault and domestic violence in the military, three months after the White House and the defense secretary threw their support behind recommendations made by an independent review commission.
“The administration has placed an unprecedentedly high priority on this challenge set,” Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks said during a briefing at the Pentagon on Wednesday. “We have now created the way ahead, called the implementation road map, and Secretary Austin has approved it in its entirety.”
The implementation plan includes proposed changes to the Uniform Code of Military Justice and the planned creation of the Office of the Special Victim Prosecutor, which will remove the investigation of sexual assault and domestic violence from the chain of command, one defense official said. It will also include plans for implementing a number of the other recommendations made by the independent review commission.
The implementation plan includes a four-tier approach to implement all of the Independent Review Commission’s recommendations, about 80 in total. The first tier of the plan focuses on establishing the office of the Special Victim Prosecutor and creating a full-time and specialized prevention workforce within the military. It will also focus on implementing a full-time sexual assault response coordinator and prevention and response victim advocate positions within the military, Hicks said during the briefing.