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Service Women’s Issues on the Campaign Trail

Posted by on Feb 15, 2012 in About Face, Greg Jacob | 2 comments

On Tuesday, Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich criticized fellow Republican candidate Rick Santorum on his recent comments on women in combat by saying: “We should be very proud of the men and women who put on the American uniform and risk their lives in order to protect this country,” Gingrich told reporters. “I just think that Rick completely misunderstands the nature of modern warfare by his comments.”  Gingrich then...

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President Obama signs military sexual assault reforms into law

Posted by on Jan 4, 2012 in About Face, Greg Jacob | 0 comments

On New Year’s Eve, President Barack Obama took pen in hand and signed the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012. In doing so he signed into law sweeping and profound changes in the way the military treats survivors of sexual assault by strengthening the military’s prevention efforts and providing legal protections and assistance for survivors. The law strengthens support for sexual assault prevention by: Increasing the rank of the...

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Question 21: Making Progress

Posted by on Dec 19, 2011 in About Face, Greg Jacob | 8 comments

In the last 7 years, have you consulted with a mental health professional (psychiatrist, psychologist, counselor, etc.) or have you consulted with another health care provider about a mental health related condition? – Question 21, Standard Form 86 “Questionnaire for National Security Positions” *UPDATE – In the first week of 2012, the ODNI informed Congress that the Question 21 change is currently in “Executive...

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Our Service Women Deserve the Best Care

Posted by on Nov 29, 2011 in About Face, Greg Jacob | 0 comments

Yesterday I was on Capitol Hill again, this time giving a brief to Senate staff on the need for our government to provide the full range of medical benefits for women in uniform. Currently federal law does not allow service women to access all of the medical benefits that civilian women get. That is completely unfair. Today, service women are the only group who get their heath care through a federal insurance program that are required to pay out...

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House Passes VA Rape Prevention Bill

Posted by on Oct 12, 2011 in About Face, Greg Jacob | 0 comments

Yesterday the House of Representatives passed H.R. 2074, a bill designed to help prevent sexual assaults in VA hospitals by requiring a comprehensive policy be put into place on reporting and tracking sexual assault incidents that occur in VA facilities. The bill was written by Rep. Jeff Miller (R-FL) and Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle (R-NY) following a report released by the GAO earlier this year. In that report, the GAO investigated only five of the...

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Leadership Failure

Posted by on Aug 11, 2011 in About Face, Greg Jacob | 0 comments

By Greg Jacob Greg is the policy director for SWAN, and served in the US Marines as both an enlisted infantryman and an infantry officer. Two retired officers recently posted an interesting article in the Defense Policy blog where they pull back the curtain and expose the world of the Army officer.  What Brigadier General Dennis Laich and Lieutenant Colonel Mike Young  found was a broken system of leadership in which feckless, overbearing,...

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House hears testimony on VA rape bill

Posted by on Jul 25, 2011 in About Face, Greg Jacob | 0 comments

Click on the image to read SWAN’s Statement for the Record. The House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee on Health is holding a hearing at 4pm today examining several pieces of legislation and hearing testimony from the Veterans Adminstration (VA) and several veterans organizations on the impact these bills would have. One of the bills being discussed is H.R. 2074, a bipartisan bill that would require the VA to develop and implement...

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Benefit Cuts Never Heal

Posted by on Jul 20, 2011 in About Face, Greg Jacob | 0 comments

by Greg Jacob Greg is the policy director at SWAN and a former Marine Corps infantry officer. Senator Tom Coburn has introduced an amendment to the Military Construction bill which would undo decades of policies regarding how this country takes care of veterans that have been exposed to Agent Orange, and could have a negative impact on future claims filed with the Veterans Administration (VA).  It would also undercut much of the work SWAN...

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Kicking and Screaming Part 2

Posted by on Jul 13, 2011 in About Face, Greg Jacob | 0 comments

As a follow up to my recent post on a proposed consent based rape law for the military, members of the House Armed Services Committee received a brief yesterday on proposed Department of Defense (DOD) revisions to the military’s rape law known as Article 120.  During the brief, Congresswoman Niki Tsongas and Congresswoman Chellie Pingree both made a strong case for the DOD to adopt a consent based statute as part of the new revision. By the...

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Repeating History

Posted by on Jul 6, 2011 in About Face, Greg Jacob | 1 comment

The Department of Defense (DOD) announced this week that Army Special Operations Command deployed its first teams of female soldiers assigned to commando units in Afghanistan, and reported that “military officials are assessing their initial performance in theater as off the charts.” It continues to amaze me that when women perform well in combat it elicits such shock and awe from military leaders.  It is 2011, for crying out loud.  Do...

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Kicking and Screaming

Posted by on Jun 29, 2011 in About Face, Greg Jacob | 1 comment

As the National Defense Authorization Act moves closer to a vote, one of the more exciting things it will do is pull the powdered wig off of military law and drag it kicking and screaming out of the 18th century.  The NDAA not only gets rid of the archaic, intrusive, and rarely enforced sodomy statute – which has its roots in Assyrian law dating back to 1075 B.C.E. – it also revises the confusing and nearly incomprehensible rape...

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A Real No-Brainer

Posted by on Jun 22, 2011 in About Face, Greg Jacob | 1 comment

I opened the paper this morning and was greeted by yet another story of how women are serving, fighting and dying in combat. “Servicewomen have died in all of America’s wars, but usually they were support personnel such as nurses and clerks. In Afghanistan, most women who have died were killed in combat situations, as Specialist Snyder was, despite the military’s official prohibition on women in combat jobs. The same has been true in Iraq,...

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SASC Completes Markup of 2012 National Defense Authorization Act

Posted by on Jun 17, 2011 in About Face, Greg Jacob | 0 comments

Senate Committee on Armed Services Completes Markup of 2012 Defense Bill Included are groundbreaking provisions that would help eliminate military rape and sexual assault, and ensure the continued implementation of DADT repeal Today the Senate Armed Services Committee completed the mark up for the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and included amendments in the bill that would help stem the epidemic of military rape and sexual...

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At the VA, It Is Perception vs Reality

Posted by on May 18, 2011 in About Face, Greg Jacob | 0 comments

It’s official!  Write down this date:  13 May 2011.  On this historic day the VA declared victory over its longtime struggle to provide adequate healthcare services to women.  The Marine Corps Times reported that “a new era for women has dawned at the Veterans Affairs Department.” “We’ve changed the culture of the VA,” said Patricia Hayes, chief consultant for the Women Veterans Health Strategic Health Care Group in the...

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