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Military Personnel Subcommittee Approves Defense Authorization Bill

On April 23, the House Armed Services Military Personnel Subcommittee approved, by voice vote, its portion of the FY2016 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) (H.R. 1735).

The bill would require the secretary of Defense to standardize training for special victims’ counsel, establish performance measures for the special victims’ counsel program, and require that such counsel have adequate criminal justice experience. Under the bill, civilian victims of military sexual assault would have access to representation by the special victims’ counsel program.

The legislation would require the secretary to develop and implement a comprehensive strategy to prevent retaliation against members of the armed forces who report sexual assault and seeks to improve efforts to address sexual assault prevention and response for male victims. In addition, the measure would require junior and senior Reserve Officer Training Corps units to receive regular sexual assault prevention and response training.

The bill would authorize $30 million for support to local education agencies impacted by the enrollment of dependent children of service members and of civilian employees.

Details of the bill will be provided once the committee report becomes available.

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