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News | July 10, 2024

Press Release: Evaluation of Selected DoD Senior Colleges’ Response to Allegations of Harassment (Report No. DODIG-2024-105)


Inspector General Robert P. Storch announced today that the Department of Defense Office of Inspector General (DoD OIG) released the “Evaluation of Select DoD Senior Colleges' Response to Allegations of Harassment.” The DoD OIG determined the extent to which the Army War College, Naval War College, Air War College, and National Defense University responded to allegations of harassment in accordance with DoD policy. The Senate Armed Services Committee requested that the DoD OIG conduct this evaluation.

“DoD senior colleges provide high quality, professional military education,” said IG Storch. “Corrective action must be implemented to ensure these campuses are free from harassment and retaliation. Without creating a safe culture, future complainants may not report for fear of retaliation. Complainants must be protected and understand the available resources.”

The evaluation identified that from October 2020 to September 2022, the selected DoD senior colleges did not fully comply with DoD requirements when responding to five of the six harassment allegations reviewed. The DoD OIG found that the Naval War College and the Air War College did not comply with timelines or retain records to demonstrate taking required actions. The DoD OIG also determined that the Army War College and the National Defense University did not have DoD Component-specific policies for responding to civilian allegations of harassment that are not unlawful but that detract from an efficient workplace.   

The DoD OIG made 13 recommendations to the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness (OUSD[P&R]), the Director of the Office for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (ODEI), the heads of DoD Components, the Director for Joint Force Development (J-7) at the Joint Staff, and the Naval War College President. For OUSD(P&R), the recommendations include designating an office of primary responsibility to ensure that DoD policy is updated in cases of sexual harassment and retaliation. The DoD OIG’s recommendations for the Director of ODEI include updating DoD policy to require DoD Components to document retention policies that demonstrate compliance with the DoD harassment policy. For the heads of DoD Components and the Director for Joint Force Development (J-7), the DoD OIG recommended issuing a memorandum to the colleges requiring the retention of records that show compliance with the DoD harassment prevention and response policy. For the Naval War College President, the DoD OIG recommended implementation of internal controls and assess staffing resources to ensure compliance with DoD policy.  The DoD OIG will monitor progress toward the implementation of these recommendations.