A piece of bipartisan federal legislation to better protect U.S. Coast Guard Academy cadets who report sexual assaults was introduced Aug. 22, Military.com reported.
The bill – sponsored by Reps. Joe Courtney (D-CT); Trent Kelly (R-MS); Rick Larsen (D-WA); Salud Carbajal (D-CA); and Nanette Diaz Barragan (D-CA) – would make it so that reporting cadets would not be disciplined for minor collateral misconduct, such as underage drinking.
“I know how important it is for our Coasties to have the same rights and protections against sexual misconduct as other members of our military," Carbajal, a veteran and top Democrat on the House subcommittee overseeing the service branch, said in a statement. “This bill is simple and straightforward, bringing all military service academies under the same umbrella of safety and accountability to protect the next generation of servicemembers.”
Recently, it was revealed that the service had not widely disclosed Operation Fouled Anchor, a six-year internal investigation into dozens of cases of sexual assault and misconduct from 1988-2006. The Coast Guard also apologized for not taking “appropriate action” years ago for failing to adequately handle sexual assault and harassment cases at the school.
“This is one step in the process to care for our cadets as I continue to engage with Coast Guard leadership on the path forward following its failure to disclose the investigation into its history of sexual assault and harassment at the Coast Guard Academy,” said Courtney, whose district includes the academy.