Academic journal article Military Review

Can Trust Be Restored?

Academic journal article Military Review

Can Trust Be Restored?

Article excerpt

Others" and sub-chapter II, "Second Attitude Toward Others: Indifference, Desire, Hate, Sadism"

"West Point Rugby Team Benched Over Improper E-Mails"

--Stars and Stripes

"Three U.S. Navy Football Players under Investigation for Alleged Sex Assault, Sources Say"

--NBC News

"Fort Campbell Sexual Harassment Manager Arrested"

--USA Today

"Suspect in Fort Hood Prostitution Ring Identified: Accused Sergeant 1st Class is a Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention (SHARP) Coordinator"

--Army Times

"Head of U.S. Air Force's Anti-Sexual Assault Unit Arrested for Sexual Battery"

--Reuters (1)

The U.S. armed forces have a problem with sexual harassment and assault. One look at the headlines seems to tell it all.

The problem of sexual harassment and assault is not just a perception; it is a reality. The Department of Defense Annual Report on Sexual Assault in the Military: Fiscal Year 2012 reveals that there was a 1.7 percent increase in unwanted sexual contact reported by women in our armed forces compared to the 2010 report. Although there has been no similar increase in the number of assaults on men since 2010, 1.2 percent of active-duty men indicated that they were subjected to unwanted sexual attention in the 2012 report. This indicates that the Department of Defense is faced with a significant problem. (2)

Loss of Trust

Each case of unwanted sexual contact results in a loss of trust by the American people--not only in the individual service members and leaders of the armed forces but in the armed forces as a whole. Making matters worse, in some instances those entrusted to guard against sexual harassment and assault have become the alleged abusers themselves.

Can this trust be restored? What does it take to rebuild trust once it is broken or lost? Most important, what will our armed forces do to regain the trust of the American people, service members, and civilians in regard to preventing sexual harassment and unwanted sexual contact in the military? This paper will show how training and education can help reduce these crimes and restore America's trust in its armed forces.

Education and Training

It is not an easy process for any institution or organization such as the military to restore a level of trust once it has been lost. However, a good place to start is by assuring Americans that their military is receiving the training and education necessary to prevent such actions. Although many variables shape an individual's behavior within an institution, only the most impactful variables related to education and training aimed at stopping sexual harassment and unwanted sexual contact will be addressed here.

Education and training challenges are especially great for the military because it is so big. It makes up 1 percent of the U.S. population and is the largest employer in the United States, employing 3.2 million individuals. (3) Regardless of how large the military organization is, the problem of sexual harassment and unwanted sexual contact needs to be eliminated. Education and training are means to combat this issue.

Difference Between Education and Training

Many people assume that education and training are the same. They are not. Training is defined as "organized activity aimed at imparting information and or instructions to improve a recipient's performance or help him or her attain a required level of knowledge or skill." (4) Another definition of training is "the acquisition of knowledge, skills, and competencies as a result of the teaching of vocational or practical skills and knowledge that relate to specific useful competencies. Training has specific goals of improving one's capability, capacity, productivity, and performance." (5)

These two definitions provide us insight into how the Department of Defense understands and mandates education or training, or education and training. …

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