WASHINGTON, DC – Today, after President Joe Biden announced his support of recommendations to remove the prosecution of sexual assaults from the military chain of command, U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI), the Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, hailed the President’s decision and issued the following statement:

“Sexual assault is an unconscionable crime and a pervasive problem in the U.S. military and American society.  We must take comprehensive action to halt sexual misconduct, hold offenders accountable, and support survivors.  While the military has taken steps to try to stop sexual assault in the ranks, it simply hasn’t been enough. 

“I commend and support the action taken today by President Biden, and look forward to working with the Administration and my colleagues in Congress to reform the way we investigate and prosecute sexual assault and related crimes in the military. As I’ve stated from the outset of the IRC’s formation: I will include the President’s recommendations in the Committee’s base markup of the 2022 defense bill, subject to amendment. 

“This will be a historic and momentous change for the Department of Defense and the military services. 

“While these changes to the Uniform Code of Military Justice will be important, the implementation of the recommendations of the President’s Independent Review Commission on prevention, command culture, and victim support will also be vital.  I look forward to working with the Administration and my colleagues as we consider those recommendations in the weeks and months ahead.

“As the first Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee to support removing authority over charging decisions from the chain of command in sexual misconduct cases, I will continue to work to improve the system by which these offenses are prosecuted and punished.  I commend President Biden and Secretary Austin for their strong leadership and backing this seismic shift.”