WASHINGTON — President Obama told graduates of the U.S. Naval Academy Friday that the power to put an end to sexual assault in the military is in their hands.
“Those who commit sexual assault are not only committing a crime, they threaten the trust and discipline that makes our military strong,” Obama said in his commencent speech. “That’s why we have to be determined to stop these crimes, because they’ve got no place in the greatest military on earth.”
The armed forced forces have been rocked by a series of high-profile sexual assault cases critics say reflect a culture of indifference in the military. In Congress, lawmakers are looking for solutions some in military leadership have been resistant to, like establishing a independent agency that polices sexual assault in the armed services. Obama has repeatedly said the problem is unacceptable, and told the graduates today they need to step up.
“You’re about to assume the burden of leadership,” Obama said. “If we want to restore the trust that the American people deserve to have in their institutions, all of us have to do our part.