tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN January 31, 2014 12:00am-2:01am EST
there -- for instance, there could be many more reports that would go forward in a command climate that was changing. i could see pressure on a convening authority to i do not think that would be good for those victims. i want more unrestricted reports that can be investigated and prosecuted, but the pressure to demonstrate progress on all of the metrics, that we want to know what is happening on the ground, creates a lot of pressure on convening authorities in charge of this process. it creates an even larger specter of unlawful command influence. it is a matter of perception. unlawful command influence is litigated all the time and lots of times and sexual assault cases. some of these changes have already removed the commander
from parts of this process. having the commander, the convening authority -- at the front end, it creates a potential barrier to sustaining those convictions going forward. it is a very cognizable conflict. the other point about perception, the thing we have to do is to increase reporting rates. the biggest problem is not the failure to investigate and prosecute. the biggest problem is the failure to report. that is all about reception. the perception of how my case will get treated when i come forward and say this is what happened to me.
the first person to hear that is the one we need to make the right choice about how to receive that report. i want our commanders to be fighting wars, winning wars, taking care of their people, and educating everybody within the military community, over which they have far more control, so that everybody will say the right thing that will lead to an unrestricted report. it will get the perpetrator out of commission. this is all about perception. in may seem like it is some soft thing on which to base our decision, that to me, it is the whole ball of wax. >> two point professor hillman makes that are worth talking about, she has not said this, but others have implied or
stated directly that the commander needs to be freed to lead and removing the authority from the commander will free the commander to lead. i completely disagree. it does require the commanders consult with the law your to consult with judge advocates to make sure the public pronouncements are consistent with command influence law, but it is not difficult to do. most commanders do it. there are the occasional exceptions, that that is the upper section of life -- that is the imperfection of life. i have not heard -- and the testimony of our survivors today, and another days, i have
heard many of them say they support the changes that senator jill brand is promoting. i have not heard one say that if you are the commander -- fear of the commander was a prominent part of their own situation. there is a difference. i think we need to be alert to that difference and i would not presume for a minute to be inside the minds of survivors and what they have gone through but i think others have said it and i will say it again, i have not seen the impure: evidence -- empirical evidence that suggests that fear of commander is a prominent issue and why we have underreporting in the military. i would ask again why if the figure is correct, why percent of college student women do not report. is it fear of their commander?
of course not. i think ms. fernandez made a spectacular point and made it in a compelling way about this panel's obligation to study this issue rigorously and carefully to educate and not react to perception if we do not believe these perceptions are accurate. those who support the change say right or wrong, there is this perception. i want to go back to the right or wrong part. it is our obligation to point out if we believe it is wrong and not be led by the right or wrong phenomenon. -->> one of our biggest things is to get reports going up. i will not sit in the shoes of
sexual assault victims in the military. my sense is that working in this field, your perception that the system is working for you, the first person you have contact with is, i believe you, i care about you and they start to provide you with services. what is going to happen in a criminal justice system that i did not understand myself until i left law school is something that is pretty far away from the initial victimization. all you want is somebody to believe you and if you are hurt help you get over your hurt. and then other things start kicking in. that perception is really important with where our resources need to be going to.
those people making the first contacts with the victims. some of those could be commanders, some of them are best friends, some of them are all over the place. that is where the perception that people will believe you is the most important. >> have we said it all for this afternoon? i wanted to thank those of you who came up and shared your personal stories. it is not an easy thing to do. it brings a real reality [inaudible] >> we have had our deliberations. i think we have a report from
our subcommittee, which is an initial assessment. there is consensus on the panel for the report. we have heard strong and very well articulated statements that disagree with the ultimate conclusion. [inaudible] ok. this process will continue. at this time, i will take a poll of the full panel with respect to whether or not you are in agreement with the initial assessment from the role of the commander subcommittee.
colonel cook? >> i am in agreement with the initial assessment to leave senior commanders with convening authority. the only thing i would suggest is -- i would like to see included, it is going to -- defining them in the footnotes. i would suggest that something that is defined in the footnote that talks about the convening authority no longer having jurisdiction over sexual offense cases, take that out of the footnote and put that up into the body. as of june of 2014 --is after june of 2014 it has to go to a
general court-martial convening authority, does the special court-martial convening authorities still have the authority to dismiss the case at their level? does the dismissal decision it made -- i do not know the answer to that. we do not address that point. i would want to see that. one of the comments we heard talked in terms of that conflict of interest piece. it was better formulated today. i would like to see the conflict of interest elaborated in terms of those things. what training -- the commanders have their own experience and they also get specialized training. with those comments made, i do
agree with the strong majority of the subcommittee that believes leave the convening authority and the commander. >> this is a subcommittee report out, which is being adopted or not about the -- being adopted or not adopted. it is not the final report. the final report will also have to be discussed. it is important for those of you not on the subcommittee to express comments. let me go to you general mcguire. >> [inaudible] >> i concur as well. i concur with the conclusions on the findings.
>> i concur with the conclusions on the findings. >> i concur. >> i do not concur. >> with all due respect for the wisdom and insight and the well reasoned conclusions that you have reached, at this point in our deliberations, i disagree. >> i concur. >> you make a good point. the job is not over. we have more to do. it seems important as we reach a certain levels of knowledge and information that we make initial assessments. thank you for being so attentive and being here. i think -- i thank the witnesses
who came up and told their own stories with respect to what happened to them as sexual assault victims in our military. thank you. do i have to thank the staff? >> yes please. >> of course, we want to thank our staff. they have been with us since may. we will thank them again. our job is not over. [applause] >> bringing attention to what women do or how they have contributed always returns to the question of the body. for one thing, many people object to bringing women's studies or women's history into a middle school, high school classroom because there is an assumption that women studies is only about sex, birth control, abortion. it is also about women in
politics, women in law, working on farms cleans, prime ministers -- queens, prime ministers. my job is to break down the fear many people have. what goes on in a women studies classroom? >> the feminist movement and the antifeminist backlash, women studies professor will take your questions live for three hours starting at noon. online you still have a few days to weigh in on the book club. join the conversation. go to book tv.org. >> house republicans are holding a conference outside of washington to talk about a variety of issues this week and including immigration. president obama has been
traveling the country. the president was in wisconsin earlier today talking about jobs and the economy. the secretary of the air force spoke to reporters about a culture of stress and fear. that is later. >> henry waxman said he will not seek reelection this year. the former chairman of the house energy and commerce committee helped to write the affordable care act. a major expansion of medicaid and the ryan white care act to how people with aids. he is quoted in politico saying i leave with a lot of
satisfaction for the accomplishments i have had in my congressional career and i think it is time for me to move on to the next chapter of my life. democrats are expected to hold waxman's seat. a group of republican house members under the age of 40 held a news conference earlier that the parties retreat to talk about issues facing younger voters. they spoke about immigration legislation and the president health care law.
about an equal number on both sides of the aisle, a better representation of america's electorate and population. you also know that this past election broke records. first time where the under 30 age population outperformed the senior citizen demographic in turnout in voters. clearly, young people are engaged in the political process. they are engaged in who their elected leaders are. we think it is important for
those of us in office to represent that demographic and to shine a light on policies currently they're hurting this generation of americans. the lack of vision and solutions for some of the long-term entitlement programs that are really robbing the next generation of americans of the opportunity of participating in programs like social security and medicare. both are on a trajectory towards bankruptcy. the president, no total fixes to either of these programs. we hope he will offer up some real solutions that we can negotiate with them on to 60s programs. -- to fix these programs. i gave the republican response in december. young people are not signing up for the affordable care act because it is a huge cost shift from older sicker people to
younger healthy people. you subsidize people within your own demographic. women, men, old, young. on the average, an older american would pay six times more to have insurance for themselves as somebody who is young. under the president health care law, it says young people can pay no less than one third of the most expensive premiums. thereby nearly doubling in many cases what many people should pay for health insurance. so we are all about offering alternatives solutions but a important to shine a light on the fact that these policies are not working for young all. in fact, they are hurting and making it worse for young people. to highlight some of these
issues, i will turn it over to one of my wonderful colleagues my first good friend from illinois adam kinzinger. >> thank you all for coming out. stay warm. it is called everywhere. i am from illinois and saying that. i remember it was a beautiful day in september and i was driving to work and had just graduated from college. i was listening to probably howard stern and i heard that a plane hit the world trade center. i remember thinking how does a plane fly into a huge building. then i heard a second plane hit the world trade center, one hit the pentagon and a field in pennsylvania. our generation is the generation that has really had to step up in a huge way to defend our country overseas. we have had wars in iraq, wars in afghanistan and action all over the world against terrorism.
i think what has been frightening to me with this administration, i am very optimistic that the future of the country. what has been frightening is i see an administration that seems to be in retreat from the world. all we have seen as a way from the middle east and the more bold china. we have seen terrorism growing all over from north africa to the caucuses. it is something that our generation should be very concerned with. i read the highlights of the fact that the pentagon worries and five years the chinese will have a more powerful, more technologically advanced military than what we have today. i was saddened the president did not talk about american strength and leadership, because i think as we go forward, i want to know our generation and all generations alive today and yet rely on what i have had my
entire life him and that america is secure, peaceful, and that america never has to worry about being defeated on the battlefield anywhere else. so i hope the administration steps up and talks about the new grand strategy for the united states and reverses for our generation, reverses the trend of the american retreat from the world. that said, i want to turned over to martha roby. >> i am martha roby, and thanks i appreciate you all being here. in my office i have next to the pictures of my beautiful children a plaque that says blessed are the young, for they will inherit the national debt. the younger generation often get accused of being disengaged and not involved in the process, but more and more what we see is they get it, they are paying
attention. they know the increase of the national debt is going to fall on them. the reason my husband and i ran for congress is they looked at our kids and children all over the country and we felt we had a responsibility to make sure we are pushing policy that reverses that, so yes, we have a responsibility of the united states of america to pay our obligations but also a responsibility to young people to ensure that mountain of debt is not on their shoulders. so you say what are the solutions to that? you all know that it is our position that you reduce the regulatory environment. you look at big tics are tax reform.
if we cut every single dime of discretionary money we are left operating in a deficit because of the mandatory spending programs. if we do not get serious about real reforms, my children and yours will be the ones that suffer because of the continuation of spending, the environment of we will just give you more because the more you give, the more that will be spent. on behalf of my children and the younger generation we all are committed to ensuring that our party is putting forth real solutions on behalf of the children. >> jason smith. >> thank you. i am jason smith representing the eighth district of missouri, the newest member of the panel. one of the biggest concerns of mine is the extremely high
unemployment rate for individuals between 25 and 34 years old. the unemployment rate is nearly 26%. that is for numerous reasons in my opinion. policies of the obama administration. over 174 thousand pages of roles and regulation. just the first three days of january 131 regulations were filed. a lot of regulations affecting jobs all over the country in my district alone i saw 300 jobs that ended in december the cousin and epa regulation from the obama administration. now we mind our lead in the eighth district, but we send our lead to china to be smelted hoping they will send it back to
us to make the ammunition. that is a national security issue and also a jobs issue. we have so many young americans graduating from college with extremely high debt load, over $29,000 is the average debt that each young college graduate is facing when they come out. i am still paying college loans from law school. probably not too many from congress still paying. but we need to make sure we create an opportunity where young people see that when they do graduate from college that they have opportunities for jobs. the way to do that is reduce regulation, reduce the tax structure. we have one of the highest tax structures in the industrialized world. we need to promote the industrialized resources whether
it is timber, oil. you will see unemployment rates like texas all over the 50 states if we do that. >> i think mr. barr would like to speak, first. >> questions and then the rest of you can speak. >> are you saying you are getting bored? >> we are not offended. question. >> [inaudible] could you let us know what you would like to do with the gut feeling and whether or not that is still an appropriate place to try to address what you are worried about? >> i would like to remind you it was the president who was then a senator who said the lack of a plan to deal with the long-term debt was a failure of leadership. so i would shine the spotlight back on the white house to say american knows house republicans are serious about dealing with
our debt. american knows house republicans have solutions to bend the cost curve and balance the budget. what america does not know is where the president stands. what america has not seen is a balanced approach the president talked about in his campaign but has yet to lay out. so what i would respectfully say is it is time for the president to show the leadership and show the american people and house republicans his path to deal with the debt, and then we can negotiate and truly find a solution to a problem we both faced as a reality. >> do any of you favor passing a clean debt limit and what do you want to attach to it?
>> i am patrick mchenry from north carolina, and yes, i am under 40. the question has been posed to the house, what is your plan on the debt limit? i would pose it to the other body in congress called the senate. we would like to see their plan, and i would like to see if harry reid can assemble the democrat majority to assemble a plan and we would be happy to receive it in the house and start negotiations. this has always been placed on the house to lead. the president is required to lead. his party controls one half of congress, and we would like to see their plan put forward.
>> anyone have suggestions for what you would put on it? you know the president wanted clean. >> i think we know how the negotiation is going. we will see. i think we all know how negotiations go. none of us are brand-new. obviously there will be a back- and-forth on how to get here but the point is made, i have been so surprised the president has advocated leadership and always asks congress to be the leader for the american people. our job is to debate issues. the executive branch is supposed to lead. we have not heard the president talk about any of those things. >> yes or no, will you accept a clean debt ceiling? >> you are asking hypotheticals.
negotiations oak her as they occur. at the end of the day speaking for me personally, the united states should never default on the debt. that said, i think it is irresponsible to say we will not tie something to get a serious problem under control. that is my answer to that. >> i want to ask a question on immigration. mr. walden was in here earlier and said the federal issue and did not seem concerned about the bulk of the primary will be over by the time the house gets to the subject of immigration. are you willing to vote on immigration before the election? are you concerned about any political fallout for yourself? >> if you are putting that directly at me, i will say i'm willing to take up the issue at any time. in terms of the politics for it, for me personally, i am not
worried about it. there are a lot of issues at play. i think it is a conversation the american people will probably have over the next year. >> do you think the house republicans need to provide a process for citizens who are here illegally? >> that is something we having a discussion on this week. we will see what the final result is. i think there are a lot of people who understand we have to address this in some way. as for me personally, it is a debate i look over to having an think it is important. >> my name is andy barr, a freshman member from kentucky. i want to visit the president's state of the union address briefly. he did mention kentucky and how obamacare is working in
kentucky. the project of obamacare is the project of the entire presidency. it will determine whether the government can micromanage 1/6 of the american economy. in kentucky he experience is the federal government failed miserably at the experience. people are losing their jobs losing hours at work. 280,000 kentuckians have lost their job-based health insurance. obamacare is not working in kentucky, anywhere in the country and very disappointing it is not because american people need and deserve health care reform. you will hear from house
republican solutions and alternatives to obamacare. patient-centered solutions. we look forward to being advocates for young americans, young american families who deserve health care that actually works. >> so many people are of the opinion that members of the supreme court do not like something that is happening in the country, that it reaches out and brings that into the court and starts deriving opinions which is contrary as anything could be. >> c-span radio begins a series of oral history interviews with formal -- former supreme court justices.
i remember when i was up here campaigning the first time and there were some "cheeseheads for obama" and i felt pretty good about that. neither of us feel that good about our seasons, but that's okay. there's always next year. we have three of your outstanding elected officials with us here today. we've got congresswoman gwen moore. [applause] we've got the mayor of milwaukee, tom barrett. [applause] and we have milwaukee county executive, chris abele. [applause] and we've got your former governor, jim doyle. [applause] and it's also good to see -- i had a chance to see backstage somebody who was a huge part of my economic team before she became chancellor of the university of wisconsin-madison dr. becky blank is here.
and we just want to give becky a big round of applause. [applause] she said she missed washington but she doesn't really. [laughter] she was just saying that to be nice. i'm so proud of reggie, and i'm grateful for the terrific introduction. i want to thank jim for showing me around the plant. i have come here to talk with you about something that i spent a lot of time on in my state of the union address on tuesday -- the idea that no matter who you are, if you are willing to work hard, if you're willing to take on responsibility you can get ahead -- the idea of opportunity here in america. now, we're at a moment where businesses like ge have created 8 million new jobs over the past four years. [applause] and that's good news. our unemployment rate is the
lowest that it's been in more than five years. our deficits have been cut in half. housing is rebounding. manufacturing is adding jobs for the first time since the 1990s. we sell more of what we make here in america to other countries than we ever have before. today, we learned that in the second half of last year our economy grew by 3.7%. we still have more work to do, but that's pretty strong. and our businesses led the way. over the past year, the private sector grew faster than at any time in over a decade. and that's why i believe this can be a breakthrough year for america. after five years of hard work, digging ourselves out of the worst recession of our
lifetimes, we are now better positioned in the 21st century than any other country on earth. we've got all the ingredients we need to make sure that america thrives. and the question for folks in washington is whether they're going to help or they're going to hinder that progress; whether they're going to waste time creating new crises that slow things down, or they're going to spend time creating new jobs and opportunity. because the truth is -- and you know this in your own lives, and you see it in your neighborhoods among your friends and family -- even though the economy has been growing for four years, even though corporate profits have been doing very well, stock prices have soared, most folks' wages haven't gone up in over a decade. the middle class has been taking it on the chin even before the financial crisis -- too many americans working harder than ever just to get by, let alone get ahead. and then, there are too many americans who still are out of work here in wisconsin and around the country.
so we've got to reverse those trends if we're going to be serious about giving opportunity to everybody. and that's why, on tuesday, i laid out some new steps that we can take right now to speed up economic growth and strengthen the middle class, and build ladders of opportunity into the middle class. some of the ideas i presented i'm going to need congress for. but america cannot stand still and neither will i. so wherever i can take steps to expand opportunity, to help working families, that's what i'm going to do with or without congress. [applause] i want to work with them, but i can't wait for them. we've got too much work to do out there, because the defining project of our generation -- what he have to tackle right now, what has driven me
throughout my presidency and what will drive me until i wave goodbye is making sure that we're restoring opportunity to every single person in america. now, this opportunity agenda that i put forward has four parts. the first part is creating more new jobs -- jobs in american manufacturing, american exports, american energy, american innovation. and, by the way, this plant represents all those things. you've seen new jobs being built in part because we've had this amazing energy boom in this country. and the engines that are built here, a lot of them are being utilized in that new energy production. we're exporting a whole bunch of these engines overseas. the manufacturing that's taking place here isn't just good for this plant. it has spillover effects throughout the economy. and what's also true is, is that
manufacturing jobs typically pay well. we want to encourage more of them. and there's also innovation going on at this plant. so the engines that were built 25 years ago aren't the same as the engines we're building today. so the first thing is let's create more new jobs. number two, we've got to train americans with the skills to fill those jobs. [applause] americans like reggie, we've got to get them ready to take those jobs. [applause] number three, we've got to guarantee every child access to a world-class education, because that's where the foundation starts for them to be able to get a good job. [applause] and then, number four, we've got to make sure hard work pays off. if you work hard, you should be able to support a family. you may not end up being wildly rich, but you should be able to
pay your mortgage, your car note, look after your family maybe take a vacation once in a while -- especially when it's kind of cold. [laughter] at the state of the union, i was going to start out by saying the state of the union is cold. [laughter] but i decided that was not entirely appropriate. [laughter] so on tuesday, i talked about what it will take to attract more good-paying jobs to america everything from changing our tax code so we're rewarding companies that invest here in the united states instead of folks who are parking profits overseas to boosting more natural gas production.
but in this rapidly changing economy, we also have to make sure that folks can fill those jobs. and that's why i'm here today. i know some folks in wisconsin can remember a time, a few decades ago, when finding a job in manufacturing wasn't hard at all. if you basically wanted a job, you showed up at a factory, you got hired. if you worked hard, you could stay on the job. but our economy is changing. not all of today's good jobs need a four-year degree, but the ones that don't need a college degree do need some specialized training. we were looking at some of the equipment here -- it's $5 million worth of equipment. ge is going to be a little nervous if they just kind of put you there on the first day and say, here, run this thing -- [laughter] because if you mess up, you mess up. [laughter] so that's a challenge for workers, and it's a challenge for companies who want to build things here and want to bring jobs back from overseas. as one of the top executives here put it, brian white, "if we're going to have a manufacturing base in this country, we've got to find a way to have manufacturing employees.”
now, the good news is that folks across wisconsin have set out to do just that. this plant is a great example of that. that's why we're here -- in addition to just you seem like very nice people. [laughter] but we're here because you're doing some really good stuff that everybody else needs to pay attention to. together with a local high school, you started a youth apprenticeship program. so students spend four hours a day in the classroom, four hours on the shop floor; after two years they leave with both a high-school diploma and a technical certificate. then, you set up an adult apprenticeship program, so that folks can earn while they learn. you're working with partners from the wisconsin regional training partnership, to mayor barrett's manufacturing partnership, to more than 50 other employers big and small across the region in order to spot job openings months in advance and then design training programs specifically for the openings. you even helped set up a "schools to skills" program with
a local business alliance to bring kids to factories and help inspire them to pursue careers in manufacturing. and i just want to make a quick comment on that. a lot of parents, unfortunately, maybe when they saw a lot of manufacturing being offshored, told their kids you don't want to go into the trades, you don't want to go into manufacturing because you'll lose your job. well, the problem is that what happened -- a lot of young people no longer see the trades and skilled manufacturing as a viable career. but i promise you, folks can make a lot more, potentially with skilled manufacturing or the trades than they might with an art history degree. now, nothing wrong with an art history degree -- i love art history. [laughter]
so i don't want to get a bunch of emails from everybody. [laughter] i'm just saying you can make a really good living and have a great career without getting a four-year college education as long as you get the skills and the training that you need. [applause] so back to what you guys are doing. all this work has paid off. it's one of the reasons why over the past four years, you've grown your manufacturing workforce by nearly half. so what you're doing at this plant, and across this region, can be a model for the country which is why i've asked congress to fund more reliably proven programs that connect more ready-to-work americans with ready-to-be-filled jobs. [applause] that's what we'd like to see from congress. of course, there are a lot of folks who do not have time to
wait for congress. they need to learn new skills right now to get a new job right now. [applause] so that's why here today at ge i'm making it official: vice president biden, a man who was raised on the value of hard work and is tenacious, is going to lead an across-the-board review of america's training programs. [applause] we've got a lot of programs, but not all of them are doing what they should be doing to get people filled for jobs that exist right now. and we've got to move away from what my labor secretary, tom perez, calls "train and pray" -- you train workers first and then you hope they get a job. we can't do that, partly because it costs money to train folks, and a lot of times young people they take out loans, so they're getting into debt, thinking they've been training for a job and then, suddenly, there's no job there.
what we need to do is look at where are the jobs and take a job-driven approach to training. and that's what you're doing here in wisconsin. so we've got to start by figuring out which skills employers are looking for. then we've got to engage the entire community. we've got to help workers earn the skills they need to do the job that exists. and then we've got to make sure that we're continually following up and upgrading things, because companies are constantly shifting their needs. so what we're going to do is we're going to review all of federal job training programs, soup to nuts. and then we're also going to be supporting local ones. i've asked vice president biden and top officials in the federal government to reach out to governors, mayors, business leaders, labor leaders democratic and republican members of congress -- let's find what programs are working best and let's duplicate them and expand them. and later this year, i'm going to ask tom perez, my secretary
of labor, to apply those lessons as we conduct the next round of a national competition we're going to set up, challenging community colleges to partner with local employers and national industries to design job-driven training programs. and we're going to have at least one winner from every state. and we're going to invest nearly $500 million in the partnerships that show the most potential. so we're putting some real money behind this. [applause] now, we know that we've got to start training our younger workers better and that a worker's first job can set them on an upward trajectory for life. so we should do something as a country that you're doing right here, and that is create more apprenticeship opportunities that put workers on a path to the middle class. part of the problem for a lot of
young people is they just don't know what's out there. if you've never worked on a plant floor, you don't know what's involved, you don't know what it is. if you don't have a dad or a mom or an uncle or somebody who gives you some sense of that you may not know how interesting the work is and how much you can advance. so while we redouble our efforts to train today's workforce, we've got to make sure that we're doing everything we can to expand apprenticeships. and i'm going to call on american companies all across the country, particularly manufacturers, to set up more apprenticeship programs. and we've got to make sure that once folks are through training, once they get a job that the hard work pays off for every single american. i talked about this in my state of the union. incomes, wages have not gone up as fast as corporate profits and the stock market have gone up.
and that's a problem for the economy as a whole, because if all the gains are just at the top, ordinary folks aren't doing better, then they're not shopping. they're not buying new cars. they're not buying new appliances. they're not buying the new home. and that depresses the entire economy. when there's money in the pockets of ordinary folks, everybody does better, including businesses. now, today, women make up half our workforce. they're making 77 cents for every dollar a man earns. who said that? it's wrong. [applause] it's an embarrassment. so i mentioned on tuesday, women deserve equal pay for equal work. [applause] women deserve to have a baby without sacrificing her job, and should be able to get a day off when the kid gets sick. dad's need that too. [applause]
we've got to give women every opportunity that she deserves. as i said on tuesday, when women succeed, america succeeds. [applause] and, by the way, when women succeed, men succeed. [applause] because -- i don't know about all the guys here, but when michelle is doing good and happy, i'm happy, too. [laughter] [applause] i'm just saying. but also, just the economics of it, because we now live in a society where if you've got two breadwinners, that sure helps make ends meet. so if a woman is getting cheated, that's a family issue for the whole family, not just for her. [applause]
now, women hold a majority of lower-wage jobs. but they're not the only ones who are getting stifled by stagnant wages. as americans, we all understand some folks are going to make more money than others. and we don't actually envy their success. when they're worked hard, they make a lot of money, that's great. michelle and i were talking -- michelle's dad was a blue-collar worker, worked at a water filtration plant down in chicago. mom was a secretary. my mom was a single mom. they never made a lot of money. they weren't worrying about what rich and famous were doing. they weren't going around saying, i don't have a fur coat and a ferrari. they just wanted to make sure that if they were working hard they could look after their family. and that's how i think most americans -- that's how we all feel. americans overwhelmingly agree nobody who works fulltime should ever have to raise a family in poverty. they shouldn't have to do it. [applause]
so this is why i've been spending some time talking about the minimum wage. right now, the federal minimum wage doesn't even go as far as it did back in 1950. we've seen states and cities raising their minimum wages on their own -- and i support these efforts, including the one that's going on right here in wisconsin. [applause] as a chief executive, i'm going to lead by example. i talked about this on tuesday. i'm going to issue an executive order requiring federal contractors to pay the federally funded employees a fair wage of at least $10.10 an hour -- (applause) -- because if you're a cook or washing dishes for our troops on a base, you shouldn't have to live in poverty. of course, to reach millions more people, congress is going to need to catch up with the
rest of the country. there's a bill in congress right now to raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 -- the 10.10 bill. it's easy to remember: 10.10. and they should say yes to it. give america a raise. making work pay also means access to health care that's there when you get sick. the affordable care act means nobody is going to get dropped from their insurance or denied coverage because of a preexisting condition like back pain or asthma. [applause] you can't be charged more if you're a woman. those days are over. more americans are signing up for private health insurance every day. [applause] so if you know somebody who isn't covered, the great thing about this shop is because of strong union leadership and ge is a great company, most of the folks who work here, they've got good health insurance. but you've got friends, family members, maybe kids who are older than 26 -- because if they're younger than 26 they should be able to stay on your plan, thanks to the law that we passed.
[applause] but if they don't have health insurance right now, call them up, sit them down, help them get covered at healthcare.gov by march 31st. so these things are all going to help advance opportunity restore some economic security: more good jobs. skills that keep you employed. savings that are portable. health care that's yours and can't be canceled or dropped if you get sick. a decent wage to make sure if you're waking hard, it pays off. these are real, practical, achievable solutions to help shift the odds back in favor of more working families. that's what all of you represent, just like the americans who are on this stage. several of these folks graduated from one of your training program last year, including reggie. and as you heard reggie say, he feels like he "won the super bowl of life." [applause] but just like the real super bowl, success requires teamwork.
so as they earned the skills that put them on the path to the middle class, reggie and folks in the program had to look out for each other. they had to help each other out. sometimes if one of them slipped, they had to come together and make sure nobody missed a beat. and that's the attitude it's going to take for all of us to build the world's best-trained workforce. that's the attitude it's going to take to restore opportunity for everybody who's willing to work hard. and it won't be easy. and sometimes some folks will slip. but if we come together and push forward, everybody as a team i'm confident we're going to succeed. we've seen it here in wisconsin. we can make sure it happens all across the country. thank you. god bless you. god bless america. [applause] thank you.
>> the secretary or dear for spoke about the culture of stress and fear. 92 members of the nuclear missile corps had been beating -- cheating on the exams. they released preliminary findings. more on that in about 45 minutes. >> the head of the mayo clinic attended the state of the union this week as a guest of minnesota senator amy klobuchar. on the next "washington journal," his thoughts on the washington health care system.
president obama announced the creation of a new federal retirement savings program. diane oakley will talk about the plan. the bureau of labor statistics put out a report on how the workforce will change in the next 10 years. kristina bartsh and chris rugaber join us. you can also join the conversation on facebook and twitter. live every morning at 7:00 a.m. eastern on c-span. >> he was someone who grew in the office. he was badly burned by the bay of pigs experience. he had listened to the experts cia, joint chiefs of staff. he went to see charles de gaulle
in france. he said to him you should surround yourself with the smartest possible people. hear what they have to say. at the end of the day, you have to make up your own mind. he remembered what harry truman had said, the buck stops here. he was determined to make up his own mind and hear what the experts had the say, way would they were telling him. he was the responsible party and you see that it was abundantly clear when you read the transcripts of although these tapes. he was his own man. the joint chiefs, they wanted to
bomb and invade. >> an inside look at the kennedy administration on c-span q&a. >> they announce 92 members of the nuclear weapons corps had been implicated on cheating. that's a higher number than previously stated. the air force secretary spoke about the investigation. this is a 45 minute briefing. >> thank you, and good morning. >> thank you, and good morning. i don't know if your mother could have done a better job with that intro. i told you general welsh and i were going to go to the basis as well as the global strength headquarters. many of you indicated you would like to get together with
impressions. i am here to give you an update not only on the trip but on the investigation at hand. as you were briefed the couple of weeks ago agents gave answers to test on one crew members sell. this test is a monthly validation on the ability to execute the nuclear mission, and it covers concepts from training. we determined two weeks ago that this individual had transmitted the answers to 16 additional crew members, and subsequently 17 more members were implicated by voluntarily admissions, and that is what gave us 34 officers implicated. as the investigation has moved
forward, we can now report there is a total of 92 members who have been identified as having some level of involvement. that means either participating in the cheating or knowing something about it and not standing up and reporting. in an abundance of caution, as we follow this, we have temporarily decertified these 92 crew members, and they are not on alert at this time. lieutenant general wilson in a few minutes will discuss how it is we are managing this impact from an operational standpoint. what i want to assure you is i remain confident, having gone to our bases last week, even more confident of the effectiveness of the nuclear mission and i remain this way for basically the same reasons i reported two weeks ago. the difference is i went out and
saw for myself one week ago. just to recap why i am confident, there are multiple checks and balances in this system, and there are a variety of ways we ensure its reliability and safety. not the least of which we have dod inspections and outside groups that evaluate our nuclear teams to make sure they know how to better perform and to do their job. as you are aware, we tested everybody recently on the test in which the cheating had occurred, and that received a 95.5 past rate which demonstrates to me they know what their job is, they know how to perform and we have outside sections going forward and producing equally encouraging positive results. with all of that said, this situation remains completely unacceptable.
i went on the road last week because i wanted to see for myself and learn more for myself so at each stop, i went to each nuclear mission base and ended up at the home of the global strike command, and each stop i received a briefing. i did tours. most importantly, i had sessions with airmen. i did large town hall meetings, but i did small focus groups as well, and these focus groups were just me and the airmen. i asked everybody else to leave the room. i did this at a variety of levels. i got to the defenders. i talked to maintenance people support people, facility personnel. i tried to run the gamut and get a good cross-section. what i learned was very helpful and very enlightening. from all of those discussions and that tour last week, i have
come up with a list of what i call my seven observations. my seven focus areas, you might say, and all of these areas will be addressed in some fashion over the next 60 days as we prepare our plan that we will be delivering and giving our set of recommendations on what to do with respect to the nuclear force of some of these issues we have uncovered. as you know, the secretary of defense has launched a 60 day review, and we will be participating in that fully along with the navy and ofd. how we are going to put that plan together is part of what general wilson will cover shortly. let me give you my seven focus areas. the first one goes to what may be the heart of the question on many peoples minds, and that is is there some sort of cultural issue that is going on in the
force? having done the conversations i have done, having looked at it very closely now and created my own impressions, i guess i believe we do have systemic problems within the force. i have heard repeatedly from teammates that the need for perfection has created a climate of undue stress and fear fear about the future, pure about promotions, fear about what will happen to them in their careers. i have heard repeatedly that this system can be very punitive, come down hard in the case of even small, minor issues that crop up, but not equally rewarding or incentivize for excellent behavior and good work. i have also heard there is a level of micromanagement out there, which needs to be turned into more of a climate of empowerment.
i also heard that although we as senior leaders talk about the importance of the mission that the team in the field is and always see that talk act up by concrete actions, so i am sharing with you some of the themes i picked up -- is not always that the talk is act up by concrete actions, so i am sharing with you some of the themes. we have lost the distinction over time and this career area between what i call training and testing, so in the current environment, there is no room for error ever. that is the way people feel. those of us that have worked with the military, we know a training environment is an environment of learning. we know if you make mistakes that is ok because you learn and do better. eventually you go on and you
are tested or evaluated. that is where the rubber meets the road. in this environment, those elements have come together in a way which i don't think has turned out to be healthy. what i mean by that is although a standard is 90%, they are still driven to score 100% all the time, and this is because their commanders are using these test scores to be a top differentiator if not the sole differentiator on who gets promoted. i believe that a very terrible irony in this whole situation is that they didn't cheat to pass. they cheated because they felt driven to get 100%. getting 90% or 95 are sent was considered -- or 95% was considered failure in their eyes. i think this is not a healthy
environment. i think we need to reload at how we do these test, and we need to move toward a full person context, not just look at test scores. my third observation comes back to accountability. we talked about this two weeks ago, and there is going to be accountability at all levels and the leaders will be assessed as well as the people directly involved, so there will be accountability. i commit to you on that. the fourth observation has to do with professional and leadership development, and i think we have got some work to do here. there are all kinds of questions i have walked away with. are they getting the right kind of leadership training? are they meant toward the way our young leaders are mentor and else where? what are their career paths in the air force? do they view this as a career
field that has promise and where they can see a path to advancement to the top? i am not sure they view it that way today, and i believe we need to fix it so it is this way in the future. we need to reinvigorate the campaign on core values. i also believe there are instances where our wingman culture of taking care of one another can sometimes lead to people making bad choices, so we have to reenter great -- reenter great what integrity means. it is your duty -- reintegrate what integrity means. it is your duty to perform something wrong. there are ways to report directly, and there are ways to report anonymously. we have to give some reminders at this point in time.
six is what i call nuclear incentives accolades and recognition. we say this is an important mission. are we rewarding people correctly? part of the directive review has a sitting down at the table across from the navy. we are learning from each other so we're taking a close look at the way the navy handles this area. these are the issues. should we or should we not consider incentive pay? should we or should we not reward ribbons for participation? this pertains very much to the enlisted team as well as the officer team because they are working very hard as well, and are we giving them appropriate recognition? my last area of observation has to do with assessments.
are we truly putting enough money where our mouth is? there are facilities that are aging. there is equipment that is not fully maintain. there are a variety of issues i saw in my travels last week, so should we consider some of these resources to address this higher priority investment? these are the seven areas we will be looking at over the next 60 days and addressing. let me begin to wrap this. we are going to get to the bottom of this. this mission is going to get senior level, very persistent oversight, the oversight it deserves. we are going to have comprehensive, holistic action plan to address all of these observations. all seven of those observations come down to focus on people. this is a lot about addressing people issues and getting it
done right for our people, which will be crucial. i want to reassure everybody this is a failure of integrity on the part of certain airmen. it is not a failure of the mission. not only am i confident of the mission, but admiral haynie confirmed his confidence. we are unified on that front. i also want to reinforce that the vast majority of the 25,000 people in our global strike command are performing superbly. they are working very hard and doing a great job with great pride each and every day. i am talking about people like the first lieutenant, who is the flight commander for the mission security squadron. he is one of the leaders on the defender side of the house.
during his nuclear inspection last week his team performed flawlessly and was able to successfully deny access to their convoy under the simulated attack in less than three minutes. the defense threat reduction agency, the global strike command or all said this was the best convoy denial exercise they had ever seen. by the way, this is an example of some of those outside inspections where we look at can people really perform the job and this job was performed superbly. an example of why i remain so confident. i want to say well done, lieutenant peralta, and please come it up. -- keep it up. there are many like him, and i was pleased to meet many of them last week. i want to thank and congratulate them and remind them, integrity
service, excellence. core values. remember those always. with that we discuss our litigation action plan and how we are going to get together for the next 60 days. >> thank you, madam secretary and it's a pleasure to be here today. my airmen must be focused and dedicated to performing like professionals we expected to be and like our nation demands. our investigation has shown we've experienced the failure of some of our officers but not the integrity of the mission. we are confident, and let me tell you why. first, they are knowledgeable capable, incredible. let me tell you some specific actions i did.
within 48 hours we gave an inspection to every crew member. every crew member was tested. when members were tested they scored a 95% average on their test scores across the force. in addition to that, i have directed a nuclear inspection of all three wings within 30 days. we had the first one completed last week. let me tell you about the results. the grade is either pass or fail. they received a pass. there are eight major graded areas. of the eight, they got outstanding into an excellent in six. this is done by a joint team. during that inspection, 329 crew members were given nuclear security tests.
95% was the average with a 99% pass rate. they received an outstanding. that means they are evaluating the crew members performance across the board. in one area they have 12 simulator evaluations of crew members. zero defects. the joint inspection team said this was the best procedure they had seen to date. specifically at the air force base, we have 92 members subvert -- temporarily being certified. let me talk about the impact of that now. those who have not been decertified cold eight alerts firma -- per month. now they are doing 10.
staff members are also pulling extra alerts. they have taken crew members to be able to help them with the training and a valuation and procedures. -- and evaluation and procedures. a have a plan in place if something were to go wrong. they have contingency plans and are lamenting them as we speak. others include potentially augmenting the air force base in the future. we will also look at whether we divert some of those to ensure our crew force can continue the mission. we do not see an operational impact. additional steps were taken such
as the investigation led by commander mike holmes. he has put together a team, and i have asked them to look into two areas. he and his team are en route as we speak to meet with 20th air force. then we will go to all the bases. they will identify circumstances and root causes that led to this incident. he has a report due to me in 30 days with his findings, and we will take action. we are going to take this wherever it goes. the information he brings to me we are going to take action. much has been written about the morale. as the secretary mentioned, when you get to the bottom of it, it
is about people. it's about getting good people making sure they are trained confident, and proud both rational -- or and personally. . -- personally fulfilled. we want to make some lasting change. we are partnering with our other service, the navy, and sharing best actresses with the force improvement plan. the force improvement plan -- best practices with the force improvement plan. junior officers will be charged with identifying challenges and proposing solutions. i cannot stress this enough. this is grassroots level from the bottom up. that is where our solutions are going to come from. the feedback will be provided directly to me. those that i can act upon i
will. those that i can't act upon, and may be required to implement what is causing them to not be able to do the job. this work is underway. initial results will be done the end of february. i will report back, and we will keep you advised of our progress. in closing i would like to say our nation deserves the highest standards and accountability and a force -- of a force entrusted with the most powerful weapons in the world. there are 25,000 people who make up the global street community. if you got to meet them you would see the vast majority of them not only abide by but live air force values. integrity first. service before self. they make me really proud every single day. today as we speak around the missile field it is -31 degrees.
it is plus 15 at warren. we have 1000 airmen doing operations doing maintenance doing security force operations. they have been doing that for 50 years, 24/7. there are some tremendous airmen doing a vital mission. thank you. at this point i would like to take questions. >> you talked about systemic problems. if you could, do you get the sense it is confined? if it is systemic, do you see indications at any of the other locations? if it is a cheating issue to get promotions, why wouldn't this be at some of the other bases?
is it at the other bases? is it possibly a leadership issue? >> i will start, and you jump in. the 92 people we talked about our at mall stram. i heard the themes that all the locations. that is why i say i want to treat this in a holistic manner. i feel there are issues i want to address. i heard teams throughout. >> the test was locally developed. that is where we are focusing right now. as we look at how we test and how we train is one of his focus areas, so he will start at a few wore in, but that is one of --
he will start at warren, but that is one of the issues we will look into. >> are you confident? >> i am confident it is more focused on the locally developed test. when of the questions you are asking is how do we test and train? that is one thing i have asked the investigation to look into. >> is the investigation far enough along that you can say with any confidence that 92 out of 190 officers is the extent of it or do you expect that number to go higher? >> we understand they are nearing the completion of their piece of this investigation.
you have heard a different piece, but we believe the osi is nearing the end. >> you repeatedly said no compromise of security, safety or operation of effectiveness. if you can have a wide compromise without any real world impact would you test? >> as you may recall from a couple weeks ago one of the first things we did was we retested everybody because we wanted to be absolutely certain that evil understood their jobs. it is critically important. that gave us confidence. there is a real world impact. the existing people, because they have been pulled off temporarily, there are people who will be working harder.
there are people who understand the job who will be doing staff positions, but we will put them back doing the missile job. there may be some leveling from the other bases to help out. there are those impacts where people will have to work harder, but in terms of safety and reliability, we remain confident people can do their jobs. >> did the people who had to take this task -- this test viewed it as a meaningless requirement layered upon the other tests and drills they have to go through? >> what i have heard in the focus groups, and i did hear this at every base -- is that these tests have taken on such high important that they feel
anything less than 100 could put their entire career in jeopardy. they have come to believe these tests are make it or break it. this is where i came away with the impression that somehow we lost this notion of there are trading activities were people should and can and do make mistakes, and that is how people learn, and there are other areas where you had better know how to do your job. we feel confident they do know how to do their job. i think these tests, the law of unintended consequences have come into play where in our drive to have a nuclear force these tests have become elevated to the point where the environment has become unhealthy and where we are not looking at the whole person and the totality of how they perform. my opinion is we have to change
that. that is what they are going to be looking at. >> next the focus on how we train and how we test. i think you saw from the results that these officers did not need to cheap to pass a test. we demonstrated -- we tested 100% of the force, and they averaged 95%. >> did you ask at your meetings whether cheating was commonplace ? they are tested three times a month. the kind of testing would seem to suggest this activity -- it is hard to believe it wasn't going on in some format the other bases. did you ask that question? >> i asked a lot about the
culture. i asked why is it 95% a good score. i can't say i got a good answer but this is a problem. this is not healthy. there is training where you learn, and there is testing, but not to mix the two up the way it has become. >> can you say of the 92 at malstrom how many actually cheated and how many were aware of it? >> of the 92 we had the full spectrum. we had some who were aware of it all the way to some who received the information and delete it it off their cell phones. there is a full spectrum, and we
are looking into it right now, the specifics of each category is the spectrum. >> can you give me roughly a percentage of how many of those might be able to gain their certification again and how the process will work? >> right now we are focused on about 40 of the core group of 92. we have a full spectrum of folks we are looking at. what the 92 encompasses everybody who may have known about it to everybody who received a test question in between. >> the 40 you think would be able to get their certification back eventually? is that what you're saying? >> i am saying we are focusing on about 40 people we think are involved directly in the compromise. >> one more quick follow up. you have touched on row issues -- morale issues of the fact you
are going to have to work tougher and longer. i imagine that is going to stand out even more. i imagine you are going to address that in the long run, but what do you do right now? >> what we're doing is picking sure they are motivated, well- trained. it is a people thing we have talked about, but this is also about leadership. we are going to focus on leadership development from the youngest airmen to our squadron members and above. >> i am a little confused. i don't understand. you said this particular test was confined only to malstrom. apparently there are other test conducted systemwide on a regular basis. is that true? >> every month they are tested.
in the past each wing built their own test to test proficiency. we changed the procedure and it will also be proctored differently. rather than each wing doing a test independently, the test will come to 20th air force. >> what about this test made it particularly punitive that put so much pressure on the airmen? >> in the same monthly proficiency test to test their knowledge across their normal procedures. it is given every month in every wing. there is nothing different about this test. as the secretary said, expect 92 pass, but the expectation among the crew force was that they couldn't miss a question.
>> are the leadership problems exclusive to malstrom? >> i would say it is systemic we need to change the way we train and test within the community. >> on the issue of accountability, are any of the wing commanders in jeopardy of losing their jobs? can you give me an update of the drug investigation? have any more service members been implicated in that? >> the airmen at whatever level will be held accountable for their actions. part of what is going on is osi will turn over their information to the team. we will look at how we train and test, the leadership environment that existed. at the end of that we will make recommendations on personnel actions. >> so potentially -- i am trying to get an idea of how high up
this is being looked at. >> we're looking at everything from a squadron group to the number of air force levels. >> is there a drug investigation? >> my latest update on that numbers last time we talk to you was 11. it is now 13 under investigation for that. yes, sir? >> you mentioned you met with the enlisted force. i am curious. how do their concerns differ from the officers? >> i tend to meet with them separately. the enlisted force are heavily in the area of the security police. they are in maintenance. they are in facilities. we are not directly in the launch control centers. their concerns -- none of the
enlisted force is part of the investigation. their concern had to do with quality of life. they had to do with were they being incentivized fairly. they were manning levels that were not at 100% in some cases. the people that are there need to work harder. they were pointing out these issues to me that needed to be looked at as well. as i try to point out, i take those very seriously. if all we cared about is the cheating -- although we do care about that deeply, but if that is all we cared about, we could put additional proctors in the classroom and be done about -- done with it, but we care about much more than that. >> it is part of our improvement program, three of those teams will be comprised heavily of enlisted members to get their concerns and how to we addressed those concerns?
wax is the improvement program -- >> is the improvement program started already? >> it has. they will start next week. >> what did you find was behind the drug usage and how are you addressing that issue? >> i'm afraid i don't have more information to share beyond that one number about the drug investigation? >> is it required during your visit? >> i did touch upon that. >> can i make a point of clarification. let's say the test at malstrom is a locally developed test. warren has a locally developed test but they are all the same or are they different in nature? >> we covered that. the course material in terms of procedures they need to do, so every month there is a training
plan and they will train on that procedure and get a test on it. it is the same basic information but done differently -- three different tests and three different wings. >> what an air man is testing on and air man at war and might be getting different questions. >> yes. >> they are required 100% to pass? >> no. the passing is 90%. >> at all three? >> at all three bases it is 90% to pass. the perception was they needed 100% and if they missed the test question it would not be good enough but 90% is passing on these tests. >> that was the perception only at malstrom?
>> my feeling based on my trip last week, this is the perception everywhere, and it is more than perception. if a commander is using these test scores of the top differentiator to determine whether you get promoted or whether i get promoted and if i score 100% all the time, and you score some 100, some 90 some 95, that means i get promoted and you don't. this is what concerns me. that these test are one element, but they are not the whole concept. >> a couple of questions. first, why is it specifically that you know for certain you don't have incidents at -- cheating incident that your other locations? how is it you can say it is only at malstrom. my other question -- are these test -- you have talked about
training versus qualification proficiency. these tests you are describing. are they indeed training tests and not qualification participants he test. given all of this and given what you have heard across the board how is it you don't have a command climate problem? they are getting it from somewhere. >> let me start. then we can talk more about testing. i do believe we have systemic problems. based heavily on what i have heard and learned the last few weeks there is a holistic approach on this action plan so i do believe there are climate issues, and part of that will be assessing commanders how did this happen, and that will be part of the follow-up and
accountability as well. >> how do you know you don't have cheating at other places? >> immediately after this happened we gave no notice test to the entire force. it was developed by higher headquarters. it was distributed to all crew members. they averaged 95% on the test. subsequently we tested during a nuclear security inspection. 99% of them passed with a 96% average. as part of this, i asked our investigation to go out and look and specifically focus on how we train and test across all our bases. he is going to take a focus on doing just that.
he will report back to me. >> the question remains in my mind. you got very hard test scores i understand. how do you know there hasn't been cheating at other locations in the past? >> i have heard full-spectrum. i talked to lots of folks over the last few weeks, as you can imagine. i have read that this is going on a long time. the key area we are focusing on is to look at this across the command. >> you had some population in the retesting that did not pass. i think it was 22. is that still the number of airmen who did not pass? can you help explain why they cannot pass and give an opportunity to take it again? >> the number is still 22 that
didn't pass. every air if they fail a proficiency test is retrained and retested to pass before they are allowed. as a precautionary measure we have temporarily decertified 92 members. if you were to fail a monthly proficiency test, you wouldn't be allowed to perform an alert duty until you are reach range and retested successfully to pass. >> let me give you an opportunity to close, and we will wrap it up. >> thank you again for joining us today. the top thing on my mind and your is -- yours as well is to we have confidence on the mission being safe and security, and the answer is yes. the secretary of defense confirmed that yesterday. the secretary of strategic command said we are unified in
that position. we are confident of the security of our nuclear mission. secondly we told you of the steps we are taking better comprehensive to address these issues, and we will continue to do this in the spirit of transparency with all of you. lastly, i just want to say again that overall i have enormous trust and confidence in our airmen as a whole. there are thousands and thousands of them working hard every day performing superbly, and i look forward to continuing to know more of them, because they give me great inspiration and great pride. >> thank you. >> the 25,000 airmen and civilians accomplished an extraordinary commission for our -- mission for our nation every day. their mission is important to our nation. i think we validated they remain knowledgeable to perform their mission.
the air force base continued to meet its commitments. this is all about the people. it's all about good people. it's all about motivating people. it's all about making sure we get trained, confident people. i get to see them every single day. if you did, you would be just as impressed as i am. there are some amazing airmen. there are some amazing civilians, and they do a fantastic [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2014] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] >> a couple of live events to tell you about. even here prevent former state department adviser on iran. live coverage from the hudson institute beginning at noon eastern here on c-span. the winter olympics in sochi kicking off at the very seventh. we will have the security threats to winter games and
the regional tension in russia. live coverage starts at 9:00 p.m. eastern. -- 9:00 a.m. eastern. >> we bring public affairs of guns from washington directly to you. we put you in the rooms for congressional hearings, briefings, conferences and offer complete gavel-to-gavel coverage for private industry. we are c-span created 35 years ago and funded by your local cable or satellite providers. watch us in hd, like us on facebook, follow us on twitter. >> a panel has concluded the commander should keep authority. the congress established the panel and we will hear from some of the panels of sexual -- the
panel with victims of sexual assault and learn more about the findings next. >> before we get started, i want to extend the banks to the george washington university law school for allowing the use of these rooms. in addition to being a brilliant scholar and professor of law here at gw, a judge advocate generals court it has served in many positions including appellate judge. i don't know if you are in the room at this point, but thank you very much. the panel wants to extend its thanks to the assistant dean of in his ministry and affairs -- of administrative affairs and her assistant ms. wilder, and
the media services coordinator. i want to thank all of you for helping put all of these meetings together. to conduct an independent review and assessment of the systems used to investigate, prosecute and adjudicate crimes involving adult sexual assault and related offenses and the uniform code of military justice. for the purpose of developing recommendations and how to approve -- improve those systems. among other important man talent --among other important and challenging tasks these include initiatives to modify the current role of the commander in the military justice system. the panel has already focused
much of its efforts in this area and we will spend today discussing it as well. in addition to the panel's efforts due to the vast scope and a short time we have with which to accomplish our work, we have established three subcommittees, the role of the commander, a subcommittee on comparative systems and a subcommittee on comparative services. we will proceed and get as much done as they possibly can in the time that we have. there he is panel members are on each of the subcommittees along with subject matter experts that are added in order to help us with our work. i serve as the chair on the commander committee. the role of the commander subcommittee meeting earlier
this month, the members requested to hear from retired general officers and former officers who both supported and opposed to modifying the commanders authority to convene the court-martial. we heard from a number of retired officers at the sub committee meeting and i believe that was held on january 9 if my memory serves me and there is a transcript of it. it was fully transcribed. we await adding it back in order to post it on the panel's website. i'm sorry, it's already on the website. we invited everyone who appeared at that subcommittee hearing to come to testify today at the full panel meeting which is a public meeting and many of the same retired and former officers who appeared before the subcommittee have been able to come back and accept this invitation to present to the full panel.
we are lucky today to have some additional distinguish retired officers who were not at the subcommittee meeting. their biographies and all background materials provided to the panel in preparation for this meeting are available on the panel's website as well as the public comment that the kernel just mentioned earlier that we received in connection with today's meetings. -- as well as the public comment that the colonel mentioned. i would like to turn to the presenters for the first session this morning and they will speak in favor of modifying the role of the commander in the military justice process. we have four presenters here and person and three who have joined us by phone. thank you for making yourselves available today.
if we could, i would like to begin with the general. are you there? >> i am. >> we are pleased to hear your comments. >> thank you for allowing us to participate on the phone. i regret i could not be there in person this morning. i have served active duty in the air force, air force reserve, and the national guard. i have 14 years of command time with nine of those as the general of the vermont national guard, army and error. we need to prosecute sexual assault and other criminal offenses within the military system in moving them from outside of the command chain. i think it's a decision to prosecute or not should be based
on evidence independent of pre- existing command relationships. our men and women deserve that fair treatment and due process that would come with it. i strongly believe in the holding commanders responsible. that is a given that we should not confuse command responsibility with leadership. commander should always be responsible for command climate. this change, if made would allow them to focus efforts on command business improving the climate, and were fighting abilities in the unit. leadership, to me, is the ability to inspire others, to set a moral example, to think
strategically while focusing on missions. i think that ever since we met on the ninth of january, even more reports have come out of the paper of ms. behavior or unacceptable actions by senior military officers, unfortunately. this just points, i think, to the importance of what the subcommittee is doing and the recommendations that you will be submitting and the importance for a stubbs tinto's -- for a substantive change in the military response. for decades since i was in in 1979 up to the present time. it has gone through cycles of focusing on the issue of sexual harassment and sexual assault in the military.
some good actions were taken. the decision to put emphasis on the commanders to hold them responsible and to educate the men and women in the military on harassment acceptable behavior versus unacceptable behavior. each time we measure afterward and we wanted to success low and behold, the cycle repeated itself over and over again. and over again. i think now with the changes that senator jill the brand has proposed in her legislation -- the senator gillibrand has proposed, there is a real opportunity to strike at the heart of part of the problem, to change that structure to place the decisions to prosecute with trained military legal professionals. let commanders believe the focus on mission readiness and war
fighting in the command climate inspiring, leading. as a result, they are able to build back same confidence in due process, within the military, that we must demand of ourselves. for men and women who are serving. women at all ranks -- men and women at all ranks and all fields. i will say before addressing this, i won't repeat other thin