Armed Forces News

A Soldier assists in the laborious and delicate art of rigging and packing a parachute. (Army photo by Sgt. Benjamin Vilchez)

As it has in the past, the Army plans to canvass its soldiers about their attitudes regarding sexual assault and harassment again. This time, however, the service plans to include 10 additional service-specific questions in its upcoming Defense Organizational Climate Survey. Specifically, the Army wants to garner more information that would help identify risk factors at installations and in commands.

“The optional … content includes a wide variety of topics, ranging from workplace experiences, professional development, discrimination, to Covid-19,” said. Michelle Zbylut of the U.S. Army Research Institute for the Behavioral and Social Sciences. “The additional questions allow commanders to dig deeper into a given topic area.”

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Installation commanders will have 120 days from the date they assume command to administer the new survey (The Defense Organizational Climate Survey, or DEOCS 5.0). Soldiers’ participation, however, is optional, voluntary and confidential.

Five of the additional Army-related questions directly address sexual harassment, while the other five address sexual assault.

“To make this survey work, it’s important that people participate. To truly understand the scope and contours of these issues, we need to hear from as many people as we can – voluntarily, of course,” said Jenna Newman, social science advisor with the Army Resilience Directorate.

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