Commentary | March 19, 2021

Vice Commandant: I charge YOU with eliminating sexual harassment and assault in our service

By Vice Commandant Adm. Charles Ray

To the amazing women and men of the United States Coast Guard:

This is a call to action – Sexual Harassment and Sexual Assault will not be tolerated in our Coast Guard!  Sexual Harassment and Sexual Assault are the antithesis of our Core Values; they undermine everything our Service stands for and our revered culture of selfless service, sacrifice, and respect.  While I am extremely proud of the significant action our Service has taken to cultivate a culture of prevention, grow our response and support capacity, and improve accountability, let me be clear – even one case of Sexual Harassment or Sexual Assault within our ranks is one too many.

I have charged our senior leaders, and I charge YOU, with eliminating Sexual Harassment and Sexual Assault from our Service.  The Coast Guard's Sexual Assault Prevention Response and Recovery (SAPRR) Committee recently conducted a comprehensive review of data, trends, contributing factors, and gaps in our current training and policies.  Consequently, we have initiated a prevention campaign focusing on transparency, accountability, leadership, and communication.  As a part of this program, you will be provided new tools, training, and education to help identify and thwart Sexual Harassment and Sexual Assault in the workplace. Additionally, we have implemented new and innovative Sexual Assault Prevention Response and Recovery (SAPRR) and Anti-Harassment and Hate Incident (AHHI) websites that will be continuously updated with new content and features:

Abolishing Sexual Harassment and Sexual Assault from our Service is an “All Hands” evolution, and each one of us ultimately bears the responsibility to eliminate it from our ranks.  In doing so, we will maintain our prominent status as the world’s greatest Coast Guard, a Coast Guard esteemed for its tireless commitment to Honor, Respect, and Devotion to Duty.  Thank you.

Semper Paratus, 

Admiral Ray
Vice Commandant