General Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has expressed an openness to revising the way the military branches handle sexual harassment and assault complaints within their ranks, the Associated Press reports.
Milley has supported the current process of reporting sexual assault of harassment, which requires the person making the report to take it up the direct chain of command, which may include the accused or friends of the accused, to determine if the charge gets prosecuted.
In an interview with the Associated Press and CNN, Milley did not openly endorse a new system of filing complaints, but he did express a willingness to review new procedures, primarily because ongoing efforts to curb sexual harassment and abuse in the military have largely failed.
“We’ve been at it for years, and we haven’t effectively moved the needle,” he said. “We have to. We must.”
The new proposal would create a way to report sexual assault and potential hate crimes allegations to an independent investigator, taking the decision to prosecute out of the chain of command. An independent commission is finalizing a process for review.
“I’m confident that the recommendations of the independent review commission — I’m confident they’ll develop evidence-based solutions, and that would be important as we go forward,” Milley said.