Wednesday, April 4, 2012

CNO - Admiral Greenert Admits, "We have a Problem"

One of my followers forwarded me a recent Navy Times article, posted online Monday April 2, 2012.  The article discusses the Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Greenert’s training initiative on combating sexual assault in the Navy.

CNO: ‘Sexual assault is an attack on a sailor’ - Across the force, Navy personnel will attend educational stand-downs in April that highlight ways sailors can respond to — and prevent — sexual assaults.

The two hours worth of training is part of the Navy’s latest initiative to get sailors to report more offenses and to reduce the stubbornly-high number of assaults. It emphasizes that watching out for each other is everyone’s responsibility.

As for the severity of the problem, Navy officials are not mincing words.

“Folks, we’ve got to face the facts — sexual assault is an attack on a sailor,” Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jon Greenert wrote in post entitled “We have a problem… on his official blog Sunday. “On average, these attacks take place every day.”

The Navy, along with the other services, is under increasing pressure from lawmakers and sexual assault victim advocates to tamp down on incidents in the ranks. 

Last year, the Pentagon’s annual report on sexual assault reported 611 incidents Navy-wide in fiscal year 2010. Officials are still going through the statistics for fiscal 2011. But this year’s statistics would likely be “close or maybe even a little bit less” than the previous year’s, Vice Adm. Scott Van Buskirk, the chief of naval personnel, told reporters Monday.

As with previous reports, those most at risk are young enlisted women.

“Our most at-risk population are our youngest female sailors,” Rear Adm. Martha Herb, the director of personnel readiness and community support at Navy Personnel Command, said in the same teleconference. “They tend to be 20 to 24, they’re E-1s to E-4s. The CNO underlines that we have a problem because if you have one sexual assault, it’s a problem.”

Officials say they’ve revamped the training to make it more effective. The two hours worth of standdowns can be done at once, but officials prefer it to be split into 30-minute weekly sessions. Each of these has a separate focus such as session one, “Hurts One,” or session three, “Prevention is Everyone’s Duty.” One of the new elements is bystander training. It focuses on the duty of bystanders to act early to prevent an assault.

“Active bystanders take the initiative to help someone who may be targeted for a sexual assault,” according to the training materials, which are posted online. That means a shipmate whose judgment may be clouded by alcohol from becoming a victim — or a perpetrator.

The April standdowns are only the first salvo of the new awareness training. Fleet training for E-6 and below is slated for this fall. And officers and chiefs will go through more in-depth training, which focuses on handling complaints and addressing command climate issues.

“What we hope to achieve is a baseline of the entire force,” Van Buskirk said.

Food for thought:
So, the CNO finally admits on his blog, "We have a problem."  My advice to Admiral Greenert is, it's going to take more than a training "stand-down" to fix the problem of mishandling, opps, I should be more politically correct, handling of sailors complaints of: sexual assault, reprisal, rape, discrimination, bullying, military corruption, etc.. etc.. etc..

Admiral Greenert, to hold training after the fact, only proves that you and other senior military officials are a day late and a dollar short.  The majority of military rape and sexual assault cases occurred several years ago when senior military officials ignored the victims complaints.  

Meanwhile, the rapist was never prosecuted and is most likely still serving in the military, hence the need to conduct sexual assault and rape prevention training. 

Had the victim's complaints been taken seriously, the first time,  there will be no need to waste additional tax dollars by holding "damage control" training.  

As proven by the way, YOU, "Admiral Greenert", mishandled my IG complaints of reprisal, fraud and civil rights violations; you are the LAST PERSON, who should be in-charge of managing the Navy’s Fleet to offer military training strategies on prevention of military workplace abuse.

Admiral Greenert, you should retire or resign your commission and let a more competent person deal with this epidemic which has sadly plagued our military.

Let's face,  it's going to take an outside federal agency to clean up years of failed reporting and investigating processes within the Navy, much less the entire Dept. of Defense.

Good Luck!


Anonymous said...

The military's approach to handling complaints of any kind is "ignore the evidence, cover-it up, protect the chain of command and pray it doesn't leak to the media!"

Syneeda said...

Anon, You are 100% correct!

Anonymous said...

Let me tell... as a medical physician(ED) we do not have SANE personnel available in our EDs and Balboa Naval Hospital. Instead, when a rape victim reports to a Military Training Facility(MTF) in Navy Medicine West (NMW) from Camp Pendleton to Naval Medical Center San Diego-Balboa (NMCSD), they are farmed out to a civilian facility for their sensitive care. To date, NMW medical staff especially the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners personnel are not up to date in their training( most are functioning with expired credential or not at all) and there is currently no available training course for them to renew. Instead the senior nurse CAPT Grau at NMCSD continues to be allowed to drag her feet on standing up the program in NMCSD for this much needed training. Even from BUMED in Washington DC, there is a slow paced concern to implement current training for Sexual Assault Examiners Both RADM Faizon of NMCSD and his other medical senior leaderships are fully aware of this training need but uncaringly they still allow our fellow raped shipmates (both females and males)to be farmed out to the civilian area instead of taking care our own. How is it possible this is being allowed.....well...perhaps it because it's a crime primarily occurring to women and that's certainly not a priority!
So, to summarize, Navy Medicine West (NMW) DOES NOT have a current Sexual Assault Examination program to train its medical personnel to handle it's rape cases. Instead, the victims (our fellow shipmates) are farmed out to the closes civilian facility and primarily forgotten. Here's a tasker for you: Just call and ask NMW... Make an impromptu call and asked the RADM Faizon or the Senior Nurse CAPT Grau and listen to how they stumble over their words on this horrible but well know fact! Or better yet, call the ER of Camp Pendleton or NMCSD and ask them what are you to do with a Petty Officer that has just reported she was raped and appear their will be amazed yet very disappointed.

Just thought you wanted to's not getting any better....because they DO NOT CARE! Instead, they are leading with a Wackamo type leadership style....only addressing issues as they arise in the media to save face vice doing the right thing BEFORE the need is brutally revealed (e.x. after a Navy rape victim falls through the cracks).

Call me!

AnonA said...

Just read the Navy Times article entitled “Standdown to stop sex assault.” What a shame, it seems that the Navy is only doing something because it “is under tremendous pressure from Congress and advocacy groups to do a better job of stamping out sexual assault within the ranks and prosecuting offenders.” The article mentions the Navy’s own program, Sexual Assault Prevention and Response, SAPR, but there is no mention of the head of SAPR, none other than the Navy’s own “Queen of Denial,” Jill Loftus. Perhaps the Navy is realizing that had Jill done her job when she was the Deputy Naval Inspector General, by properly investigating, stamping out, and prosecuting offenders, there would be no need for a new office, at huge expense to the taxpayer, to conduct yet another layer of training.
According to the article, there is a more robust sexual assault program coming later this year, at huge expense, which will offer training for leaders on issues related to sexual assault, including proper ways to deal with complaints, investigations and a command climate that encourages offenders. Whoa, did I read that right, “proper ways to deal with…a command climate that ENCOURAGES offenders.” Are you kidding me? You’ve found a command climate that encourages offenders and you’re going to screw around and not fire and prosecute people. Therein is the problem. The Navy apparently knows of the command climate that encourages offenders and does nothing. Do “leaders” really need another training session to know that you’re not supposed to rape and assault? It doesn’t say much for Navy leadership or those that are selected for leadership. It says even less for the failure of the Navy Inspector General and the SAPRO.

Syneeda said...

Anon, The Navy is too busy prosecuting whistleblower's like me for reporting federal crimes being committed by senior leaders instead of prosecuting the real criminals that are still in uniform, especially those who are raping our young sailors.

Back in the early 90's when the Navy held GMT, for us old folks, General Military Training, it proved to be extremely effective which increased morale and decreased mishaps or abuse or mistreatment towards female sailors.
Then somewhere down the road a civilian defense contractor came along and convinced senior leaders to implement "NKO". For us oldskool veterans, I believe it stands for Navy Knowledge Online. Well the problem with implementing this type of training was it decreased "open forum discussions." By forcing a sailor to sit at a desk to privately answer a questionnaire it doesn’t hold the sailor accountable. This new method of training proved to be beneficial for the commanding officer. As a part of his or her fitness report, the CO could report improved NKO training statistics to their bosses.

For nearly a decade, Navy commanding officers have relied on computer generated reports to gage their command climate. No wonder so many Commanding Officers are getting fired!!
The military is about taking care of people, not treating people like they are "government issue" weapons.
As a prior African American enlisted sailor and senior officer I faced adversity everyday of my career. But there was never an occasion that I feared I would be assaulted by a fellow shipmate, even when I served as the only female for a year on a Navy warship.
The most serious problem within the ranks of the Navy is lack of senior female leadership from the E-6 to 0-6 level.

If the Navy thinks by putting a FEW senior females at a command will decrease the amounts of sexual assault, will continue to set the Navy up for failure. These few females are too busy "competing" with their male counterparts and don't want to rock the boat or muddy the waters by standing up for her junior female sailors. The flip side of this is the Navy will have another case of the “Holly Graf!”

Admiral Greenert, if you think by spending more tax dollars will show the media and Congress you are cleaning up your house, you are sadly mistaken. No amount of increase spending of our tax dollars will stop your junior male sailors from wanting to "have a good time" with their female shipmates. Unless you promote and appoint more females to more senior leadership roles the problem, with your male sailors, will continue to spread like an incurable cancer!!

Anonymous said...

Is Greenert trying to say that this is something new? He should have said "We've had a problem for a long time, and now, due to pressure, we are actually having to acknowledge our problem and do something about it." Roughead and Mullen knew about the problem and were content letting the Navy IG cover up the problem when people tried to come forward. Of course, the Navy IG needs to accept credit for the fact that it significantly contributed to the problem by thinking that the guilty commands wouldn't lie through their teeth to cover up. Let's face the reality of the situation --- A Navy IG investigation that consists of a phone call to the command with an allegation of sexual assault will almost come back negative. There is no CO on the planet who won't say that "Nothing like that has ever happened at my command." Navy IG investigations fail miserably because you can't investigate by phone. You actually have to get your ass out of a chair and do something.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of Admiral Greenert’s admission of a problem, there’s a story in the Navy Times about the fired command master chief of VFA 131, Joseph Storms. He was fired after an investigation into allegations of sexual harassment. Why didn’t he get a “Sturges?”

I have to admit, as serious as the topic is, many of the readers and writers are making good points and providing some humor, possibly badly placed, but it gets the point across by comparing the vast differences in treatment of individuals. We’ve seen that Captain John B. Sturges got away with what he did, and someone coined the term “Sturges” to mean doing the dirty deed and not having to pay the price. The specifics of CMC Storms alleged sexual harassment wasn’t identified, but he may have been trolling for sex like the posting on William H. Weinfurtner at the Fleet Logistics Center in San Diego. In that posting, it appeared as if Wild Billy Weinfurtner was trying to entertain willy junior and the command had to cover up and used the taxpayers to do it. Along the lines of Sturges, a “Weinfurtner” would be a sexual solicitation. In this case, Storms did a “Weinfurtner” but didn’t get a “Sturges.” Whereas, Weinfurtner did a “Weinfurtner” and did get a “Sturges” that was fully paid by the taxpayers.

The moral of the story is, if you’re going to “Weinfurtner” a woman, make sure you’ve got a “Sturges” lined up.

Anonymous said...

How is it that the Navy charged and convicted you, Syneeda based on "allegations" and "non-eyewitness" accounts of "alleged" adultery, but refuses to prosecute someone for rape based on the victim's testimony and evidence of rape?

Syneeda said...

Anon(s) Each of you make strong points which clearly exposes numerous failed programs within the Navy. As stated in my previous comment, the Defense Department would rather spend millions of tax dollars in weapons systems but will approve allocation in "wasteful" spending in "damage control programs". By building such an "industrialized military complex, somewhere along the way, senior military leaders forgot to realize our young sailors, soldiers, marines and airmens are "humans".

I forgot to mention, in the mid to late 90s the Navy lost a large majority of its senior leadership during the downsizing. Nowadays they are replacing them with civilian contractors, some of which have committed sexual assault or raped our female soldiers while forward deployed overseas.

Just google PFC Levena Johnson's story, it will bring tears to your eyes.