U.S. CONGRESS – Today, U.S. Senator Martha McSally (R-AZ) sent a letter to Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson requesting an executive summit within the next 30 days to tackle the issue of sexual assault in the Air Force.

“I write to request an immediate executive summit with you, Gen. Goldfein, and other senior Air Force leaders and policy experts to tackle the issue of sexual assault in our United States Air Force,” McSally wrote. “Despite a number of positive changes over the past several years, we have not seen a significant reduction sexual assault reports or increase in convictions within the Air Force or across the services.”

Last Wednesday, McSally spoke at a Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Personnel hearing on military services’ prevention of and response to sexual assault disclosing that she was a military sexual assault survivor.

McSally emphasized the importance of keeping commanders at the center of the solution for sexual assault response and prevention.

The letter is available to download HERE and below:

March 13, 2019

The Honorable Heather Wilson

Secretary of the Air Force

1670 Air Force Pentagon

Washington, DC 20330-1670

Dear Secretary Wilson,

I write to request an immediate executive summit with you, Gen. Goldfein, and other senior Air Force leaders and policy experts to tackle the issue of sexual assault in our United States Air Force.

Despite a number of positive changes over the past several years, we have not seen a significant reduction sexual assault reports or increase in convictions within the Air Force or across the services. While there are some positive trends, the latest DoD annual report on sexual assault still shows that as many as 5,277 service members made reports of sexual assault for incidents that occurred sometime during military service.[1] And these were just the women and men who bravely chose to report their assault. This is simply unacceptable.

As a proud USAF veteran; a former fighter squadron commander with responsibility for the mission, well-being, and good order and discipline of my warfighting team; a survivor of military sexual assault; and now a U.S. Senator, I am uniquely positioned to help combat this issue with the Air Force. I firmly believe that commanders must be fully responsible for preventing and responding to sexual assault in the ranks. However, if we truly want to see aggressive change, we must take a fresh look at what else needs to be done in our approach to education, prevention, investigation, and prosecution of these crimes.

I appreciate in advance your prioritized effort to coordinate this important event as soon as possible—preferably within the next thirty days.


[1] [1] Department of Defense Annual Report on Sexual Assault in the Military for Fiscal Year 2017. U.S. Department of Defense (as revised May 4, 2018), available at https://www.sapr.mil/public/docs/reports/FY17_Annual/DoD_FY17_Annual_Report_on_Sexual_Assault_

in_the_Military.pdf.