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Lt. Col. Dan Dowse, the commanding officer of Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron of Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, signs a Sexual Assault Awareness Month banner at 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing Headquarters April 19. COs and sergeants major of several 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing squadrons also signed the banner.

Photo by Lance Cpl. Alexandra M. Harris

‘Leadership is stomping out sexual assault’

26 Apr 2010 | Lance Cpl. Alexandra M. Harris

Maj. Gen. Thomas L. Conant, the commanding general of 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, I Marine Expeditionary Force, and Col. Frank A. Richie, the commanding officer of Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, signed a proclamation for Sexual Assault Awareness Month at the 3rd MAW Headquarters building here April 19.

The proclamation states that 3rd MAW recognizes April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month and how 3rd MAW will help prevent sexual assault.

“Preventing sexual assault focuses on the ability of every service member, especially those in the leadership, to build a climate of respect in which sexual assault will not be tolerated,” stated the proclamation.

It also affirms this year’s awareness theme, which is “Hurts one. Affects all … Preventing sexual assault is everyone’s duty.”

“Sexual assault is one of the most unreported crimes,” said Latricia Kamins, the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program manager here. “The proclamation shows that sexual assault is not compatible with the Marine Corps ethos and that there is zero tolerance for it.”

After signing the proclamation, both Conant and Richie signed and traced footprints on a banner which had the title “Leadership is stomping out sexual assault.”

Once both commanding officers finished, COs and sergeants major of several different squadrons also signed and traced footprints onto the banner.

“By showing that the top command wants to eliminate sexual assault, it will be an incentive for Marines to come forward,” said Kamins. “Their commands do care, and they will treat them with dignity and fairness.”