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My Coast Guard
Commentary | Oct. 20, 2023

The Accountability and Transparency Review team thanks you for your input

By The ATR Executive Team

The Coast Guard’s Accountability and Transparency Review (ATR) team completed their 90-day review of sexual assault and sexual harassment in the Service and thank all members who participated. The ATR team received over 170 written comments in the suggestion box and spoke in-person with hundreds of members over six weeks of listening sessions.

What does all this engagement add up to? 

The ATR team delivered their draft report to the Commandant on schedule and, in coming weeks, will brief other senior leaders on the results and recommendations in the draft report. You will be able to view the report in late November, once the ATR team finalizes it.  

The report will provide actionable recommendations and identify key investments required to accelerate change to ensure everyone enjoys a workplace free from sexual assault and harassment.  

Your engagement, whether through submitted comments, during listening sessions, or as part of earlier surveys, was critical in framing and informing the ATR on how the Service can do better by its people.  

“It was important to us to hear directly from the workforce, so we were intentional about ensuring that we visited operational units of each type as we traveled,” said Rear Adm. Miriam Lafferty, the ATR team lead. 

The ATR team appreciates each member who shared their perspectives to help the team understand the experiences of our workforce. During the visits, the team held separate listening sessions with unit leadership, sexual assault prevention, response, and recovery (SAPRR) staff and other local support providers (medical, chaplain, CGIS), the Chiefs Mess, and junior and senior members of the crew.   

“I wasn’t sure what to expect,” said an Officer in Charge at a remote small boat station. “I thought we would be hearing about the latest ALCOASTs or policy changes. This visit was definitely not that. We had real conversations about who sets the tone at a unit, how to have real conversations with our people about things that really matter like setting boundaries and holding people accountable (even if they outrank you by a lot) and why those things are important.  These are the kind of conversations I wish we could have with senior leadership more often.” 

The team started with visits to the Coast Guard’s primary accession sites, the Coast Guard Academy and Training Center Cape May, and then continued to the training centers in Yorktown, Petaluma and Mobile.  The team also visited and met with members stationed at operational units across the Coast Guard including cutters, air station, bases, sectors, marine safety units and small boat stations.   

“Everywhere we went, we heard candid feedback,” said Command Master Chief Petty Officer Ann Logan. “Members appreciated the opportunity to talk about culture, climate and their experiences regarding sexual harassment, sexual assault and related training. Many of them indicated our listening sessions gave them an opportunity to further engage with their crews on these topics.” 

ATR team members reviewed and analyzed data from major surveys (e.g., Defense Organizational Climate Survey (DEOCS), Workplace and Gender Relations (WGR) Surveys and Service Academy Gender Relations (SAGR) Survey) and met with program offices spanning more than 30 years. Through research, the ATR team was able to gain a broader understanding of the issues, existing policies and current best practices. 

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