#METOO Wants to Equalize the Military

Pentagon officials endorse demonstration against military sexual assault

The #MeToo movement came to the Pentagon’s doors Monday, and officials said the department endorsed the protest.

The Hill’s Ellen Mitchell reports:

The Department of Defense (DOD) on Monday endorsed a demonstration against military sexual assault held earlier in the day in front of the Pentagon.

Roughly 40 military veterans, service members and supporters attended the #MeTooMilitary demonstration Monday morning at the Pentagon Metro Station. The group demanded accountability from Pentagon leaders on the handling of military sexual assault and harassment, according to Service Women’s Action Network (SWAN), one of three nonprofit groups that helped organize the gathering.

“No one should have to tolerate harassment as part of their military service,” Pentagon spokesman Army Col. Rob Manning told reporters after the rally.

Asked if the department supports the objectives of the protesters, Manning replied, “Yes.”

Speakers at the event included retired Col. Don Christensen, president of Protect Our Defenders; Monica Medina, a former special assistant to former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta; and Heath Phillips, a survivor of military sexual trauma.

Pentagon staff, including chief spokeswoman Dana White, walked outside toward the end of the gathering to express their support.

“The DOD continually works to eliminate sexual harassment and assault from the military,” Pentagon spokesman Marine Corps Maj. Adrian Rankine-Galloway said in a statement to The Hill.

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