Air Force releases sexual assault conviction information

  • Published
  • By Col. John Shaw
  • 21st Space Wing commander
Be excellent to each other. I can't think of a better "prime directive" for a personal life philosophy. No matter where we go or where we are -- work, school, home or elsewhere - many of the problems we deal with on a daily basis would quickly fade away if we could simply "be excellent to each other."

This philosophy also reflects my view on sexual assaults. Like the rest of our Air Force, I have a zero tolerance policy for sexual assaults. Sexual assaults are crimes. They erode trust, degrade good order and discipline, and are completely contrary to what our Air Force stands for. Perpetrators of sexual assault are absolutely NOT being excellent to others.

We have all seen and experienced the exceptional training programs to prevent sexual assault; one thing you may not know, however, is that the Air Force also publishes sexual assault convictions online.

The website documents more than 100 convictions from across the Air Force. After just a few minutes read, you may notice that many sexual assault cases involve the same three factors: 1) the use of alcohol, 2) the absence of personal respect for the victim and 3) the absence of any clear consent by the victims.

A number of these cases involve Airmen assaulting fellow Airmen, and many times these victims were co-workers and former friends - people who trusted their assailant. These cases also demonstrate that Airmen who are convicted of sexual assault can receive jail time, rank reductions and/or punitive discharges.

In addition, depending on the charges and state laws, many convicted Airmen must also register in their jurisdiction's sexual assault registry. These sex offender lists include the names and addresses of convicted sex offenders, and are publicly available online.

By posting stories to the court-martial conviction website the Air Force is going "back to basics." Publicizing it is a proven approach that has a deterrent effect in our military communities.

In another sexual assault preventive effort, which went into effect July 3, Airmen who commit a sexual assault will have administrative discharge proceedings initiated against them and may be retained only if they meet a cumulative multi-part test. For Peterson Airmen, only the 14th Air Force commander can waive the mandatory discharge and only after concluding the Airman meets the same multi-part retention test.

I encourage all Airmen to visit the website and review the facts of some of these cases. Then educate your fellow Airmen about this site as well.

The prevention of sexual assaults in our Air Force begins and ends with us. It is our responsibility as wingmen and human beings to treat all with dignity and respect, to encourage the same in others, to intervene to protect fellow Airmen if a situation isn't right, and to continue to be excellent to each other.

The website can be accessed at