Washington DC – U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand issued the following statement following the vote on the bipartisan Military Justice Improvement Act:
“Once again, a majority of the U.S. Senate supported a strongly bipartisan measure to finally hold the military accountable and create a fair, non-biased military justice system. Yet, once again, Senate filibuster rules protected military brass. Still, we will not back down.
“I’m encouraged by the growth of our coalition and am grateful to Senators Daines, Gardner, Kirk, Peters and Thune for their leadership in standing up for our troops. I continue to be inspired by the survivors who have come forward to demand reform. In their honor, we will continue this fight.
“It is unacceptable that an average of 52 sexual assaults occur each day. It is unacceptable that the retaliation rate has remained unchanged, and that the Pentagon cannot point to a single case where a penalty was levied against an individual who retaliated against a survivor who reported. It is unacceptable that three of four servicemembers do not have enough faith in the system to report an assault.
“We will not sit back while this crisis persists, and will continue our work to pass military justice reform.”
Statement from Former Air Force Chief Prosecutor and Protect Our Defenders President Colonel Don Christensen (ret.):
“Those opposed to a fair justice system for our troops and their families are listening to the same generals that were against gay Americans serving their country or allowing women to serve equally. President Obama has told every servicemember who has experienced sexual assault that he’s ‘got their back.’ It’s time to prove it. The dysfunctional and unfair justice system is destroying the careers and often the lives of tens of thousands of great troops every year.”