Senator suggests Air Force use “buddy system” to combat sexual assault

Republican Senator Joni Ernst has suggested the Air Force use the buddy system to reduce sexual assaults.

A US Senator from Iowa has suggested that an Air Force base in Texas implementing a “buddy system” to cut down on sexual assaults.

Republican Senator Joni Ernst -who was the first female combat veteran in the senate- informed Joint Base San Antonio’s Brigadier General Heather L. pringle that she found a number of ways the base could combat sexual assault, including one that the USAF seems to be behind on- the buddy system.

“I was surprised to hear that the Air Force was the only service that did not require such a system for all of its students in training status,” Ernst wrote in the letter. “This is disappointing as the buddy pair system not only can reduce vulnerabilities for sexual assault, but also helps young service members make better decisions.”

Ernst would back her idea up earlier this month, when she penned an op-ed stressing the importance of the buddy system, which is used in the US Army, Navy and Marine Corps:

“Those who have worn our nation’s uniform know the importance of a battle buddy system,” Ernst said. “Though it was used on my deployment to deter sexual assault, its ability to have a positive impact ranges from helping young recruits make better decisions to keeping a teammate awake on watch.”

“The blanket order given to us in 2004 had an important message: Rank and location will not protect you from sexual assault,” she continued. “Over a decade later, as a U.S. senator, I often look back on that time as a vivid reminder of the need to address this continuing issue.

Sexual assault can impact anyone. It is a problem throughout our society from college campuses to our military- all of which we must work to end.”

According to The Blaze, reports have shown that since 2011, a staggering 35 basic training instructors in the USAF have been investigated for sexual misconduct with 69 recruits.

A report from Human Rights Watch gave even more troubling news: thousands of service members have been discharged after reporting a sexual assault or rape, with many victims being given an “Other Than Honorable” discharge.

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  • Andy Wolf

    Andy Wolf is an Appalachian native who spent much of his youth and young adulthood overseas in search of combat, riches, and adventure- accruing decades of experience in military, corporate, first responder, journalistic and advisory roles. He resides in North Carolina's Blue Ridge Mountains with his K9 companion, Kiki.

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