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IAVA Applauds Military Justice Reforms Included Within National Defense Bill, Urges Further Action

December 15, 2021

Washington, D.C. – On December 15, Congress finally passed the National Defense Authorization Act of 2022 which included long-awaited military justice reforms to aid sexual assault victims in the military. The new provisions would remove the authority to decide whether a case is prosecuted from commanders and give it to independent military prosecutors. IAVA appreciates the work of the House and Senate Armed Services Committees and Congressional supporters, as well as the countless advocates who have worked tirelessly to see these reforms passed. However, there is still work to be done. 

“The recent military justice reforms included within this year’s defense bill are a large step forward in the fight to achieve improved justice for our nation’s servicemembers,” said IAVA CEO Jeremy Butler. “While IAVA is encouraged by this, we would be remiss if we said that the fight is over. IAVA remains committed to comprehensive military justice legislation by Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand and Joni Ernst, and will continue to seek its enactment.”

The larger, more expansive IAVA-backed bill, currently has a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate and also has reached a majority of support in the House. The Military Justice Improvement and Increasing Prevention Act (S. 1520), or MJIIPA, would not only remove special victims crimes but all felonious non-military crimes from the commander’s decision to prosecute. The passed legislation also allows commanders to retain key powers in these cases; our military justice system must be free from command influence to ensure everyone in the military has the opportunity to receive fair and impartial justice. 

“For years, IAVA and other advocates have called for the provisions within the full MJIIPA to be passed and the numbers are finally there to pass the entire bill,” Butler continued. “To not pass the full bill would be a disservice to servicemembers who need military justice reform, as well the many in Congress who have worked to provide just that.” 

IAVA urges Congressional leaders to bring the full  MJIIPA to a vote in the House and Senate so we can finally enact this critically important legislation. 

IAVA is the voice for the post-9/11 veteran generation. With over 425,000 veterans and allies nationwide, IAVA is the leader in non-partisan veteran advocacy and public awareness. We drive historic impacts for veterans and IAVA’s programs are second to none. Any veteran or family member in need can reach out to IAVA’s Quick Reaction Force at or 855-91RAPID (855-917-2743) to be connected promptly with a veteran care manager who will assist. IAVA’s The Vote Hub is a free tool to register to vote and find polling information. IAVA’s membership is always growing. Join the movement at


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