By CBS News
A disturbing new Pentagon report indicates sexual assault at three prestigious U.S. military academies spiked 50 percent in the past school year. An estimated 747 West Point and Air Force Academy cadets, and Naval Academy midshipmen told an anonymous survey they were sexually assaulted in the last academic year – up from 507 three years ago.
The survey also found worsening problems at the Air Force Academy, despite changes put in place after CBS News’ reporting exposed troubling patterns.
Defense Department officials said they are troubled and disheartened by the surge in sexual harassment and violence at U.S. military service academies, reports CBS News’ Norah O’Donnell.
According to a new study released Thursday, 50 percent of the women and 16 percent of the men enrolled at the Military, Air Force and Naval Academies were sexually harassed. Another 16 percent of the women and two percent of the men said they were sexually assaulted.
“There is a cultural rot. It’s not just a few bad apples,” said Rep. Jackie Speier, who chairs the House Subcommittee on Military Personnel. “I think some heads have to roll … if all of a sudden, these cadets are going to be kicked out and their families are going to be expected to pay $100,000 in tuition … maybe behavior will change.”
At the Air Force Academy, approximately 221 cadets were sexually assaulted, up from 150 two years ago.
In 2017, CBS News spoke to more than a dozen current and former Air Force Academy cadets who said they were retaliated against after reporting their assaults.
“You go there because you want to protect their county, and they don’t protect you,” one said.
Asked if she regretted reporting the assault, another said, “Oh, I regret it every day … I regret it every day because of everything that came after. I just wish that I never came forward.”
“Accountability is the missing element in all of this,” Christensen said. “Each one of the academies has a three star who oversees it. They’re literally the only person who can prosecute the case … they simply do not send enough people to court.”
Air Force Says It Has No Plans to Investigate Martha McSally’s Rape Disclosure
Congressman Matt Gaetz Announces Service Academy Nominations for 2019 | 22 January 2019
Washington, D.C. — Congressman Matt Gaetz (FL-01) announced his 2019 service academy nominations for Florida’s First Congressional District in two separate events at Niceville High School and Pace High School earlier today. During the events, Rep. Gaetz nominated the following students to the U.S. Military Academy, the U.S. Naval Academy, the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, and the U.S. Air Force Academy:
UNITED STATES AIR FORCE ACADEMY
· Logan Martin, Choctaw High School
· Cassidy Bassett, Fort Walton Beach High School
· Hannah Suh, Rocky Bayou High School
· Stefanie Markwardt, Niceville High School
· Natalie Reece, Northwest Florida State Collage and Okaloosa Online
· Connor Stibolt, Pensacola Christian Academy
· Clint Hinrichs, Pensacola High School
· Jeffrey Sutherland, Pensacola High School
MAN HIRED BY AIR FORCE BASE AFTER ALLEGEDLY SAYING HE FANTASIZED ABOUT RAPING UNDERAGE GIRLS IN FEDERAL JOB INTERVIEW
I just saw that today.
“I’m putting the academies on notice,” said Rep. Jackie Speier, a California Democrat who chairs a House Armed Services subcommittee. “This isn’t a blip, a ‘Me-Too’ bump or some accident. It’s time for us to recognize that this is a crisis, and I intend to watch it like a hawk.”
Vice Adm. Walter E. Carter Jr., the Naval Academy superintendent, told the panel that “we must do better” and said the Annapolis academy has embarked on a corrective plan.
Yeah, this is a pretty serious problem and Civil Air Patrol people joking about their booze consumption is not helpful.