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Working to Prevent Sexual
American Forces Press Service
Sexual assault is one of the
most underreported crimes in the
military and in society as a
whole, a top defense personnel
and readiness official said.
"Some studies indicate
that only 5 percent of sexual
assaults are reported," Air
Force Brig. Gen. K.C. McClain,
who heads DoD's Joint Task Force
for Sexual Assault Prevention
and Response, said during the
DoD Women's History Month
observance at the women's
memorial here March 21.
"The highest number we've
ever seen is about 35 percent.
We don't know where DoD fits in
that range, but we're in there
McClain is the single point
of accountability for DoD sexual
assault policy matters. The task
force, stood up in October 2004,
develops policy and programs to
improve prevention efforts,
enhance victim support, and
A DoD directive on the issue
was published a year later. A
DoD instruction that expands on
the directive is expected to be
One task force goal was to
remove barriers that prevent
victims from reporting sexual
assault, McClain said.
"Immediately following a
sexual assault, there is an
overwhelming sense of loss of
control and a sense of
powerlessness," she noted.
"For many, the thought of
participating in the
investigative process is so
overwhelming that they chose to
get no care rather than to go
through that investigative
McClain said sexual assault
turns the victim's world upside
down, and the trauma of being
assaulted is a shock from which
many victims never fully
recover. "And the thought
that you're going to have to
talk your commander, supervisor,
the investigators -- all these
people are going to know,"
she noted. "That's
overwhelming for some people,
and they don't want to deal with
She said some barriers that
prevent victims from reporting
sexual assault include
embarrassment, shame, and not
wanting anyone to know what
happened to them. Sometimes not
understanding the process or
misconceptions of what's going
to happen prevent individuals
from coming forward.
To help overcome these
barriers to reporting, DoD in
2005 introduced a
reporting" option to
victims of sexual assault.
Victims can come forward and
seek counseling and other
treatment, but can choose to not
have a criminal investigation
into the assault opened.
The general said sometimes
victims' initial reaction is:
"Stop! Leave me alone! I
don't want to see anybody! I
don't want to do anything!"
However, after having time to
gather their strength and
resources, many victims think
about what happened to them and
decide to participate in an
investigation, McClain said.
A 2005 report to Congress
stated that the number of
reported sexual assaults in the
military increased by almost 40
percent between 2004 and 2005,
McClain said. The 1,700 cases
reported in 2004 climbed to
2,374 in 2005, an increase of
"Of those 2,374 reports,
435 were restrictive
reporting," McClain noted.
"So in a six-month period,
in a brand new program that was
still be implemented, we still
had 435 people who were willing
to come forward.
Of those who chose
restrictive reports initially, a
quarter later changed their
minds and allowed investigations
"Although we hate that
we have any sexual assaults, we
do think that these numbers
indicate that our programs are
working," McClain said.
"We're still in the
implementation stage, so we're
not claiming victory, because we
know we still have a long ways
Sexual assault prevention
training begins in initial
training and continues
throughout members' careers.
It's also incorporated into
"Commanders are the key to
sexual assault prevention and
response," McClain said.
Individuals preparing to
deploy also receive refresher
training on what constitutes
sexual assault, how to prevent
it, and how to report it while
deployed. McClain noted that the
incidence rate of sexual assault
in Iraq and Afghanistan is lower
than it is across the rest of
"We don't know for a
fact what to attribute that to,
but my supposition would be that
in the area of operation you're
focused on the mission -- quite
frankly, staying alive,"
she said. "You're in a
tighter group, a tighter
environment with a sense of
you're all in this together.
We're all family, and we're all
working toward the same
McClain noted that the DoD
theme for Sexual Assault
Awareness Month, which is April,
is "Sexual Assault
Prevention Begins with
You." She emphasized that
sexual assault will not be
tolerated in DoD.
"Everyone from our most
junior member to our most senior
member has a role in prevention
and response," she said.
"It's not a commander's
program; it's everyone's
Gen. K.C. McClain, USAF
Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office
Sexual Assault Policy
Express Confidence in New Civilian Personnel
By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service
Pentagon officials want to emphasize to civilian
employees that the changes in their personnel
system are all about improving national
After a two-year process, officials have
designed the new National Security Personnel
System to be faster, more flexible and more
agile, said Michael Dominguez, assistant
secretary of the Air Force and head of the NSPS
"This whole personnel system has been
designed to focus on national security and
support to national security," he said.
"It's important, because the nature of the
threat is changing."
The system is performance-based and civilian
employees can "take ownership of their
performance and their success" in the
national security mission, said Mary Lacey, the
program executive officer for the system.
The regulations governing the system go into
effect beginning Dec. 1. However, a number of
federal employees unions have vowed to stop
"We collaborated with the
representatives of the unions in the design of
NSPS," said Dominguez. "We received
their inputs during the comment period and
modified the regulations around them. It's
unfortunate that everyone won't be happy with
these regulations, but I think we've tried to
strike the best balance that's possible."
The system requires DoD to continue
collaborating with the unions as implementation
progresses. "Their feedback to us is
essential," he said.
Lacey said the labor relations portion of the
regulations become effective Dec. 1. The human
resources portion of the system - the staffing,
the classification, the performance management
pieces - will phase in over a number of months
in the January to March timeframe, she said.
Characteristics of the new system are new
position descriptions, broader pay bands, faster
hiring and better federal sector competitiveness
with private firms, Lacey said.
The first 60,000 people will transition into
the system early next year. "They will be
given new performance standards," Lacey
said. "It's very important that we not make
any performance-based pay adjustments until they
have had the opportunity to perform under those
standards and performance factors.
"It won't be until January 2007 that
their pay will be adjusted based on
performance," she emphasized.
When people transfer into the system, they
will have "run time" in the current
grade step, Lacey said. As part of that
transition, DoD will "buy out" the
remaining time for a within-grade increase.
"So you'll find that the vast majority of
our employees upon initial transition to NSPS
will get a pay raise," she said.
Dominguez said he has a lot of confidence
that the department can handle an effort that
will transfer 650,000 civilian employees in 41
civilian personnel systems into a
performance-based pay system. He said the
department has had a number of performance-based
demonstration projects - the most famous being
China Lake, Calif., begun in 1979.
Roughly 45,000 DoD employees already are
covered under some sort of performance-based pay
system. "In the Department of Defense we
have extensive experience in managing these
transitions to performance-based pay and in
running performance-based pay systems," he
said. "We have very, very high confidence
that we have got this pretty nearly right and
that high-quality leaders and employees out
there will make this work."
Defense Personnel System
Personnel System's Final Regs Sent to Congress
Office Spreads Word About DoD Civilian Jobs
By Rudi Williams
American Forces Press Service
MONTGOMERY, Ala., Feb. 2005 – Human resources specialist
Linda K. Stouffer said when she visits college campuses, she
tells students the Defense Department is "the 'employer of
choice,' and our job is to support America's defense around the
Human resources specialist Linda K. Stouffer told
attendees at the DoD African American History Outreach
Technical Assistance Workshop at Alabama State
University that DoD is "the employer of
choice," with the job of supporting America's
defense around the world. Stouffer works for the DoD
Civilian Personnel Management Service's Defense
Applicant Assistance Office in Rosslyn, Va. Photo by
(Click photo for screen-resolution image); high-resolution
Stouffer, who works for the DoD
Civilian Personnel Management Service's Defense Applicant
Assistance Office, said DoD has jobs "from A to Z."
"When you see a DoD sign at
a job fair, that doesn't mean you have to wear a uniform and
join the military," Stouffer told a large gathering of
university presidents, administrators and students here at the
DoD technical assistance workshop at Alabama State University
here Feb. 23. "DoD has more than 700,000 civilian jobs
around the globe.
"We try to encourage
students to work for DoD as civilian employees and to understand
that if they want to join the military, supporting our nation's
defense in uniform is the most awesome job they could ever
have," she continued. "But they could also support our
nation's defense around the globe in a civilian capacity."
The Defense Applicant Assistance
Office came into being in 2003 to be a resource for anyone who
wanted to get more information about civilian jobs in DoD,
Stouffer said. "We have advisers available to help people
in their job search process -- to talk to them and explain
information on various job announcements," she noted.
"We also connect them with other recruiters in DoD."
Stouffer said her office looks
for events to spread the word about its existence, particularly
minority events such as the DoD's African-American History Month
Outreach events at Alabama State University.
She said her office comes under
the deputy assistant secretary of defense for civilian personnel
policy. "This office wanted people on staff who could
answer questions for students and anyone wanting information
about DoD jobs," Stouffer noted. "That way, they could
pick up a phone and have a live person to talk to. … Or they
could send us an e-mail and they will get an immediate
Stouffer said advisers will
discuss job search process; provide information about DoD
vacancies, occupations and missions; assist with questions,
applications, forms and status of applications; explain DoD job
terminology; and provide a connection between job seekers and
She said it's helpful for
students to know what states have the highest concentration of
federal civilians who work within DoD. "Our Top 10 states
are Virginia, California, Texas, Maryland, Georgia, Florida,
Pennsylvania, Washington, Ohio and Oklahoma," Stouffer
said. "So the message to students is, the more mobile you
are and the more willing you are to relocate to where that job
is, the better opportunity you will have."
DoD has 6,000 offices and
installations in every state around the country and in 146
countries around the world. DoD's three military departments and
16 defense agencies recruit on many college and university
campuses. The Defense Applicant Assistance Office is the central
point for marketing DoD-wide civilian employment opportunities,
"Out of about 800
occupations within the federal government, you'll find jobs in
DoD in about 700 of those occupations," she noted.
The most critical skill needs for
DoD in the next two years are engineers, administration/program
management, education, security and protection, accounting and
budget, information technology and physical sciences, according
to a Partnership for Public Service study.
DoD components also offer many
intern, co-op and entry-level professional development career
programs, as well as support for graduate fellowships and
scholarships in career fields where there is high demand for
well-qualified candidates, according to Stouffer.
She pointed out that the
internship program doesn't always mean just a summer job.
"These are entry-level full-time professional jobs,"
Job seekers can visit the
office's Web site, or call (888) DoD-4USA (363-4872) toll free.
The TTY number is (703) 696-5436.
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Civilian Personnel Rules Published Feb. 14
By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Feb. 2005 – DoD and the Office of Personnel
Management will publish the regulations that will govern how the
new National Security Personnel System will operate, DoD
officials announced Feb. 10.
The proposed regulations will
appear in the Federal Register Feb. 14, and officials invite
Navy Secretary Gordon England
said once the public comment period ends March 16, officials at
DoD and OPM will confer with the various federal employee unions
and then give all comments "fair and full
"Our plan, then, is to begin
the implementation this summer," England said. "We'll
learn through doing. We'll do this in phases. And we will
progressively add more and more employees (and) learn as we go
until completion at the end of 2008."
The publication marks the end of
the first phase of implementing the personnel system. The
system, enacted by Congress in 2003, will allow DoD to better
manage civilian personnel. Once in place, the department will be
able to shift personnel among jobs, hire faster and reward good
"Now NSPS is going to
replace a 50-year-old system," England said. "We're
going to replace (the current system) with a very modern system
that we need to attract, recruit, retain, compensate fairly and
manage our employees."
The system will focus on
performance, flexibility and accountability, the secretary said.
"It will be much more responsive to the national security
environment, and … it will fully preserve our employee
protections, our veterans preference and employee
If all goes well, the first
60,000 people under the NSPS will transfer to the system in
July. They will transfer at their current salaries.
General-schedule workers will stop being GS-designated employees
and will transfer to pay bands. It will be a year before the
first decisions are made on performance pay raises, officials
Dan Blair, the OPM's acting
director, said the new rules will not change merit system
protections, whistle-blower protections, veterans preference,
benefits, rules against prohibited practices or leave and work
NSPS will change the general
schedule system and job classification standards. It will give
managers more flexibility in reassigning employees to fulfill
critical needs and more flexibility in where employees will
"We have encouraged our
unions to work constructively with us, and also with the federal
mediation and conciliations services so we can find common
ground and make this an even better system," England said.
However, five federal employees
unions announced they will challenge the system in court. The
unions contend DoD and OPM have not adequately consulted with
Blair said that with NSPS the
entire federal government personnel system has "reached a
tipping point." DoD, the Department of Homeland Security
and a number of other federal agencies will be covered under
new, more responsive personnel rules.
"More federal workers will
be covered by reformed and modernized systems than the current
general schedule," he said. "These changes haven't
come easily. But this new system, coupled with the DHS system,
show that transformation can take place in an environment which
honors merit and ensures collaboration and cooperation."
Military spouses pursue
careers through DeCA
by Rick Brink, DECA
FORT LEE, Va. –The commissary
has been more than a great place to shop and save money for
Andrea Chisholm, who has worked at three different commissaries
in the past eight years as she and her family moved about the
world to fulfill the demands of military life. Chisholm,
a meat department worker at the MacDill Air Force Base, Fla.,
commissary, is one of more than 3,200 military spouses who
perform a variety of jobs in commissaries and other DeCA
activities around the world.
spouses bring to the DeCA workplace a depth of knowledge and
understanding of the commissary’s role in military life, Brant
said. They have a vested interest in the commissary benefit and
they find challenging and rewarding work in DeCA. Working
within government service enables me to transfer to a comparable
grade level and series wherever my husband is stationed,”
Anderson said. “Commissaries are located at every major
installation, so the next time we move, I will definitely check
out the DeCA job vacancies. It’s nice to work for a defense organization that I see
as a great asset to military families.”
Program Links Troops With Civilian Careers
By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, June 2004 — A federally funded
program, Helmets to Hardhats, is making good on the military
recruiters "selling" point that service members gain
valuable skills they can apply in the private sector following
The program helps service
members and military veterans put their training to use as
they transition to jobs in the building and construction
Launched in January 2003 with
funding from the 2003 Defense Appropriations Act, Helmets to
Hardhats provides an important link between veterans and
soon-to-be veterans and 15 building and construction trades
organizations clambering for their skills. Collectively, these
organizations represent about 82,000
On-Line Career Assistance
Registration only takes a few minutes and the benefits are
numerous. It is completely free for applicants to use our
We offer you the most convenient and efficient way to expose
your talents to a wide variety of quality companies - those
seeking your military experience. Begin your exploration now and
find the perfect career using our exclusive tools and resources.
Locate your dream
Upcoming Corporate Gray
Military Job Fairs include:
These job fairs are free to all job seekers (military and
civilian); no pre-registration or pre-qualification is required,
all are welcome. There will be scores of military-friendly
employers at each. For more information, visit www.GreenToGray.com
and click on "job fairs." The job fair web pages
contain the list of registered companies and a link to their
home page or
employment page. Companies can expect to see 500-1,000+
job seekers at each event.