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IAVA Statement on Reports that Military Justice Reform to be Removed from Defense Bill

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
December 6, 2021
CONTACT: press@iava.org

Washington, D.C. – In response to reports that House and Senate Armed Service Committee leaders are on the verge of removing the IAVA-backed Military Justice Improvement and Increasing Prevention Act (MJIIPA) from the final defense bill, IAVA released the following statement:

“For years, servicemembers and advocates have witnessed the Department of Defense and Congress take a failed approach to the sexual assault problem within the military justice system. This year, many anxiously awaited a justice overhaul as MJIIPA received majority support in both chambers, including two-thirds of the Senate, and was included in the Senate-passed National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA),” stated IAVA CEO Jeremy Butler. “IAVA finds it abhorrent that even though the provision  is so popular in Congress that the Armed Services leaders would still consider stripping it from the final bill behind closed doors. We implore Chairmen Reed and Smith, and Ranking Members Inhofe and Rogers, include MJIIPA in the final conference NDAA. 

Our servicemembers consistently put their lives on the line to keep our country safe. Year after year the tales of sexual assault, retaliation as a direct result of reporting, and many other injustices surface and dwindle the confidence they have in our military justice system. It is time that Congress stops the backroom dealings and does what is right for those who serve our country. MJIIPA is the only reform that will provide true independence for prosecutors in the military justice system and is essential to ensure that victims, the accused, and the public all have full faith and confidence in the military justice process.”

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 quickreactionforce.org 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 iava.org/membership.

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