Pentagon chief urges end to sex assault 'scourge'
NEW YORK (AFP) - US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel told cadets Saturday that they must stamp out the "scourge" of sexual assault within the military, as US leaders grappled with the growing problem.
Mr Hagel's call came amid a wave of high-profile sexual assaults in the military has prompted outrage and calls for new legislation.
Next month, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the heads of all five military branches will make a rare appearance together before lawmakers to testify on the issue and proposals to address it.
Speaking to newly commissioned officers at a graduation ceremony at the prestigious West Point military academy in New York, Mr Hagel emphasised it would be their responsibility as rising leaders to "bring the best out" of themselves and their fellow soldiers.