WASHINGTON — Air Force officials announced a new policy requiring the inclusion and command review of information on sex-related offenses in personnel service records Sept. 30.
The change was directed in the fiscal year 2014 National Defense Authorization Act, requiring the services to document this information in service member personnel records.
“Sexual harassment and sexual assault are not consistent with our core values, cause great harm to our Airmen who experience it and seriously degrade our mission readiness,” said Maj. Gen. Gina Grosso, the director of the Air Force sexual assault and prevention response.
The new policy requires commanders to review all records to ensure substantiated complaints of sex-related offenses against Airmen, regardless of grade, assigned to, and transferred into their command, are annotated in the Airman’s performance report or permanent training report. Annotation of those complaints resulting in conviction by court-martial, non-judicial punishment or punitive administrative action will be filed in an Airman’s permanent personnel service record.
“Actively engaged leadership and transparency are key to eliminating sex-related offenses,” said Brig. Gen. Brian Kelly, the director of force management policy. “This policy assists with that goal and helps leaders foster a climate of mutual respect, dignity and inclusion of all Airmen at every level.
“This level of awareness should ensure commanders have knowledge of and familiarization with their assigned Airmen’s histories of sex-related offenses,” Kelly said. “This also reduces the likelihood repeat offenses will escape the notice of subsequent or higher level commanders.”
The effective date for the notation is Dec. 26, 2013. Commanders will ensure substantiated offenses not previously documented on the Airman’s performance or training report that occurred on or after the effective date will be documented in the Airman’s next evaluation.
The policy does not limit or prohibit the Airman from challenging or appealing such action using the existing appeal process in line with Air Force Instruction 36-2406, Officer and Enlisted Evaluation Systems, or through the Air Force Board of Correction for Military Records, Kelly said.
For this policy, the Air Force considers sex-related offenses as those defined in Articles 120, 125, 120a, 120b, and 120c of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, which range from rape to stalking.
Air Force officials recognize the significant administrative burden associated with initially implementing this policy on the directed timeline, Kelly said. To alleviate this in the future, data codes are being developed to allow commanders to quickly identify Airmen who are assigned to or transferred into their unit.