Gallagher Opening Statement at Hearing on Findings and Recommendations of the Independent Review Commission on Sexual Assault in the Military

July 20, 2021
Press Release

Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI), Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Military Personnel, delivered the following opening statement at a hearing on the findings and recommendations of the Independent Review Commission on Sexual Assault in the Military. 

Rep. Gallagher's remarks as prepared for delivery:

Thank you, Chairwoman Speier.  I look forward to hearing from our panels today about how the Department of Defense will approach sexual assault and sexual harassment in the future.

These are crimes that have NO PLACE in the military.  As a Marine Corps Officer… I quickly learned that sexual assault and related crimes can quickly erode Good Order and Discipline and unit cohesion if not dealt with swiftly and decisively. 

Our Service-Members deserve an environment where they feel safe, a culture where they know sexual harassment will not be tolerated, and a military justice system that is accountable and responsive.  

I know we will focus a lot of discussion today on the accountability line of effort. The IRC is recommending a tailored approach to changing the UCMJ. I’m sure that will receive plenty of attention today.

 But changing behavior and prevention is the key ingredient to addressing adverse behavior before it becomes unlawful behavior.

I understand that the Prevention line of effort is interested in identifying and amplifying the most effective prevention measures. 

I am interested how DOD and the IRC view our current prevention efforts and what tools work most effectively.

The Climate and Culture line of effort does give me some pause. More data on the command climate is helpful but I want to fully understand how the IRC recommendations fit with our existing command tools. 

The IRC recommended additional “qualitative” and narrative tools for officer performance evaluations. That recommendation focuses on the need to have officers who elevate “transformational leaders”. I would hope that this desire for transformational leadership goes beyond the “social acumen” cited in the report and also reflects credibly on a variety of effective leadership styles. 

Empathy is important. So is competence and lethality.

Dr.  Hicks, I’m very interested in the implementation timeline you are proposing and the resources that might be need to some of these reforms.   

On Panel 2, I’m looking to get more detail on the process and data used to develop the IRC’s findings and  recommendations.   I also look forward to discussing some of the specific recommendations in each line of effort. 


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