WASHINGTON, D.C. – OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates calls for stronger anti-hazing measures in the Armed Forces.
On Tuesday, Congresswoman Judy Chu testified about the need for consistent policy implementation by the Department of Defense in front of the House Armed Services Committee. Since the deaths of Chinese Americans Private Danny Chen and Lance Corporal Harry Lew due to hazing in 2011, Congresswoman Judy Chu (CA-27), OCA National, OCA – New York, and other organizational partners have worked closely with the Department of Defense to combat hazing and bullying in the armed forces.
Based on a 2015 report on hazing and bullying by the RAND Corporation and language incorporated into the 2014 National Defense Authorization Act, the Department of Defense produced a memo late last year on hazing and bullying in the armed forces. However, a recent U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) report suggests that the memo does not fully address hazing and bullying prevention.
“The recent memo by the Department of Defense is an important and substantive first step to address hazing and bullying in the military, however the recent GAO report suggests that it does not go far enough,” said Leslie Moe-Kaiser, OCA National President. “Though the memo includes positive changes, such as mandatory training and inclusion of data collection categories of race and sex, it fails to specify how often training should occur and leaves out many other important data categories such as religion and national origin. To actively prevent future tragedies like those of Private Danny Chen and Lance Corporal Harry Lew, improved training must be implemented that occurs department-wide and specifically addresses the type of insidious, targeted hazing that caused their deaths.”
“OCA is proud of the work that we have done in conjunction with OCA – New York and Congresswoman Judy Chu, but it is now necessary we take the steps to ensure that these policies are effective and implemented correctly,” continued Moe-Kaiser. “We applaud Congresswoman Chu for speaking out on this issue and for leading efforts to get results on Capitol Hill. I hope that we can continue to work with her office and the Department of Defense to ensure that military hazing never costs another life, and ensure that no one feels unsafe or unwelcome while serving their country.”