Provisions and reforms to NDAA - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Provisions and reforms to NDAA

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In the past few years, sexual assault in the military has been making headlines.

On Thursday, some big victories in the National Defense Authorization Act with revisions and reforms to sexual assault.

Some say although this is a step in the right direction, more needs to be done.

Military will receive standardized training on what is and what isn't acceptable behavior.

When commanders receive information about an assault, that will also be standardized so they know how to deal with the incident.

The other revision will look at those who hold positions as sexual prevention officers. They will 

"Looking at some of the legislation that has passed, I think they kind of missed the ball on some of that," said State Rep Stace Nelson.

Nelson has dealt with hundreds of rape and sexual assault cases throughout his career as a federal agent, military member and civilian.

"Probably one of the biggest failures I think in this legislation they recently passed is not taking out that determining factor on whether they're going to prosecute or not from the immediate commanding officer," said Nelson.

Congresswoman Kristi Noem says there's been a lot of debate as to what should be included in these reforms.

"There's been a lot of discussion about taking decisions out of the hands of commanders and I think that's something that will keeping coming up quite often. That still was not included in this NDAA. I haven't been supportive of it so far with a lot of the arguments that I've heard but I'm going to continue to examine it," said Rep. Noem.

Nelson says Congress rushed on passing the latest legislation.
"I would have loved to have seen more Congress people ask experts like myself that have dealt with this stuff what they could have done to make this better instead of just throwing ideas at the problem," said Nelson.

"It will help. These reforms will certainly help. But we'll be watching the numbers to see if the numbers of victims have dropped -- if we've been able to have an impact through some of these reforms and then continue to ask advice from those who are serving," said Noem. 

"I'm encouraged by the fact that Congress is taking a look at this and now it is becoming a major issue that our military commanders and our military organizations have to take a look at and address now here in our military forces," said Nelson.
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