To our Coast Guard Sentinels:
Recently I wrote to inform you about past sexual assault cases at the Coast Guard Academy and how the Service failed to address them properly when they were reported. Our Service and our Academy have made significant progress over the past decade on measures to advance sexual assault and sexual harassment prevention, response, and recovery – but more must be done.
We are incredibly proud of our workforce and our culture that values honor, respect, and devotion to duty. It is clear, however, that more work must be done to ensure everyone in our Coast Guard is treated with the dignity and respect we all deserve, and that everyone has the full opportunity to achieve their potential in the Coast Guard.
Just as we don’t paint over rust on a ship, we will not paint over the rust stain of assault, harassment, bullying, hazing, and retaliation.
As Master Chief and I testified last week to Congress, you are the most important part of our Coast Guard, and your health, safety, and well-being are our top priority. We must all join together to ensure our Coast Guard is the model our workforce needs and America expects. This linked video is a direct message from me and Master Chief Jones. Our message and expectations are clear: sexual assault, sexual harassment, or any form of abuse has no place in our Coast Guard.
To accelerate down this trackline, I directed a 90-day Accountability and Transparency Review of our current law, policy, processes, practices, resources, and Service culture relevant to eradicating sexual assault and harassment in our ranks. This Review will produce actionable recommendations to help us be an even better Coast Guard.
Everyone in our Service has the right to a safe workplace and I encourage any workforce member who experienced or is experiencing harassment, bullying, retaliation, assault, or other abuse to seek assistance immediately. Information on sexual assault reporting and recovery services, and other resources, can be found here.
It’s an honor to be your leadership team, and together we will ensure we remain the world’s greatest Coast Guard.
Yours in service,
ADM Linda Fagan Master Chief Jones