The official announcement could come as soon as Thursday, when the President is scheduled to address National Defense University in Washington, D.C.
“It is time we take on the fight against sexual assault and sexual harassment as our primary mission,” Odierno said.
The bill also codifies a proposal from Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel that prevents commanders from overturning sexual assault convictions or reducing guilty findings to lesser offenses.
The Army announced Tuesday that it’s investigating an officer assigned with preventing sexual assault for sexual misconduct.
The number is down from the initially planned 14 days.
Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Rule of Law and Detainee Policy William K. Lietzau emphasized that the U.S. “played a leadership role in the safe and humane custody of detainees in wartime.”
Arlington County prosecutor Theo Stamos said Wednesday that her office has taken cases against the military in the past and sees no reason to turn over the latest simply because it is a more high profile legal matter.
“Sexual assault is a despicable crime and one of the most serious issues facing this department. It is a threat and safety to the welfare of our people,” Hagel said.
The President’s remarks come just days after the officer tasked with overseeing the Air Force’s sexual assault prevention program was arrested for allegedly committing sexual battery.
Lt. Col Jeffrey Krusinski was removed from his post and taken into custody just after midnight on Saturday in Arlington, Virginia after being accused of grabbing a woman’s breast and buttocks.