Air Force Secretary John Roche and chief of staff General John Jumper told the Senate Armed Services Committee yesterday that the academy’s top four leaders will be replaced and reassigned. Responding to growing criticism that the academy’s top brass turned a deaf ear, and in some cases blamed the victims for reporting rape, the Air Force released a statement today pledging, “We will not tolerate criminals, nor will we tolerate their behavior… We will not tolerate any individual who shuns alleged victims of criminal activity, nor will we tolerate retribution against these victims, reported the New York Times. Set for replacement are the Academy’s superintendent, Gen. John Dallager, second-in-command Brig. Gen. Taco Gilbert, vice commandant, Col. Robert Eskridge, and the commander of cadet training, Col. Laurie Slavec. The new leadership will include Maj. Gen. John Rosa, Brig. Gen. Johnny Wlda, Col. Debra Gray, and Col. Clada Monteith, respectively.
Last week, Sens. John Warner (R-VA) and Wayne Allard (R-CO) called for the promotion of female leadership at the academy. To date, almost 60 women have come forward alleging rape or sexual assault at the academy, where women comprise roughly 16 percent of its 4,000 cadets, reported the Washington Post. Two internal investigations are pending. A third by the Pentagon will commence next week, according to USA Today.
Media Resources: Washington Post 3/25/03; NY Times 3/26/03; Reuters 3/26/03; USA Today 3/26/03; Feminist Daily News