"... military officials united in opposition to Gillibrand’s proposal, which would take away commanders’ authority to determine whether sexual assault cases go to trial. “If you’ve heard each of us suggest that the role of a commander is central in solving this problem, it’s because we believe that the role of the commander is essential to any change we will be able to make on this issue,” Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey told the committee, defending the current processes. Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force and Coast Guard leaders testified Tuesday on a panel convened by the Senate Armed Services Committee to hear opinions on pending sexual assault bills. Politico
The notion that military society is or should be closely analogous to civilian life is just ignorant and silly.
The military life and military society exist for the sole purpose of doing violence in service of the foreign, and if need be, the domestice policy of the US Government
The military does not exist for the purpose of creating opportunities for "self-actualization" for people in the forces. This is true without regard to gender, race, status as a membe of a protected minority or whatever.
In pursuit of combat power in the service of the country, nothing can be allowed to exist in the US armed forces that detracts in any way from the generation and maintenance of that power.
A key factor in the generation of combat power is the unity and integrity of what is called the chain of command. By this is meant the undivided authority and responsibility of commanders at all levels from squad leader to theater commander over all that occurs within their commands. The principle enunciated by the Commandant of the USMC today that both the authority and the responsibility of commanders can not be diluted without threatening the capability of the force is absolutely correct.
Both the functioning of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) and the Inspector General system are command functions. There is no separate judicial system, in the military, nor should there be. A court-martial is a command function. It sits in the name of the commander and represents him or her and acts for him. The commander should continue to have the right to reduce sentences recommended by a court-martial that was authorized by him.
To take judicial power away from commanders is to weaken the power and authority of all commanders and to court battlefield disaster when in some future combat service members question that authority.
It is amusing to hear draft dodgers like Christopher Matthews opine on how the armed forces should be run, but it is much more serious to hear senators who know little of the reality of war treat this crisis of criminal activity as an issue left over from the feminist culture wars.
What needs to be done is to hold commanders responsible in terms of promotion and assignment for failure to enforce existing militsry law. In other words, commanders who do not fully investigate, prosecute and punish malfeasants should be penalized in term of their careers. As soon as it becomes clear that this is true, the rate of such misbehavior will drop to a low level. All that will be required to achieve that effect will be for some general or admiral to be heavily penalized for failure to act or for retaliation. pl