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Sexual assualt - attacking the enemy within

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Nadia Berrouet
  • Tyndall Sexual Assualt Advocate
Can you imagine a military collapsing from within? When I raised my right hand and swore to protect the Constitution of the United States from its enemies, foreign and domestic, I didn't imagine on the domestic front it would be within the ranks of my brothers and sisters in arms.

Sexual assault is an attack on us from within. It's a war on the home front that weakens our core and thus weakens our Forces.

On May 13, 1940, Winston Churchill said, "We have before us an ordeal of the most grievous kind. We have before us many, many long months of struggle and of suffering. You ask, what is our policy? I can say: It is to wage war, by sea, land and air, with all our might and with all the strength that God can give us; to wage war against a monstrous tyranny, never surpassed in the dark, lamentable catalogue of human crime. That is our policy. You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word: It is victory, victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory, however long and hard the road may be; for without victory, there is no survival."

Churchill spoke these words at a time when he needed to inspire the nation for the fight of their lives. Germany was pushing through Europe at an alarming pace and he knew they were not as strong as the Germans and despite the odds, the end result would be nothing short of a victory.

When it comes to sexual assault the only end goal for us should be victory no matter the cost. Sexual assault is the largest war against us perpetrated as an insider threat. As sexual assault continues to move in on us, it grows stronger in its corruption, it charges with an illicit force upon our sisters, brothers, daughters, sons, aunts, uncles, and it's not stopping. It's ripping us apart by causing contentions, mistrust, and destroying the very foundation of our profession of arms. It not only jeopardizes our service to our profession, it also jeopardizes our standing with our own countrymen. As Winston Churchill says, it's a "monstrous tyranny" prepared to rip us apart at the seams if we don't pursue it and eradicate it.

May 30, 2014 is Sexual Assault and Prevention (SAPR) Stand-down Day. It's a dedicated day to educate and inform about a very serious issue. It's not unlike any other training we receive to be great at our profession. In order to prevent this "tyranny," we must receive regular education until it becomes second nature to us. The focus on this day will be "Identifying the Offenders." There is never a case where it's the victim's fault so we have to turn our focus on recognizing the enemy. Since we are looked upon as the elite of the nation -- a profession with the highest standards -- each and every one of us needs to stand up and take action. It will not happen overnight; it's going to take perseverance, determination, dedication and a constant watch because, after all, we are "America's Airmen ... on the Watch."