OK, you've apparently focused on a sort of trigger word and missed the larger context. It's not that sexual harassment isn't an important issue to address, it's that it is being addressed in a counter-productive way. We can either address it by holding commanders responsible for the climate on sexual assault in their unit, and by creating a culture of professionalism, or we can address it by mandating that every three months, soldiers sit through the same hour-long lecture. Which of these two is better suited?
And every three months we had (Requirement changed to every two years about two months ago) to sit through the same hour-long lecture on suicide awareness. Equal Opportunity. We have to find room for every good idea from Anti-Terrorism Level 1 training through the Army Accident Avoidance Course to Trafficking in Persons training. As mentioned, the Regular Army are mandated to train 20 months' worth of man-hours every year. I'm a reservist, we only get 20 hours a month, on average, to train. Every quarter, we lose (Well, lost, as of this quarter they reduced the rules) half a day teaching the same stuff which has already been taught. Indeed, Decembers we don't even train, we just sit through our mandatory annual briefs in an auditorium (or aircraft hangar) so we can get the checkboxes checked.
The pilot quoted in one of the articles about there being more paperwork to go on leave than engage in combat wasn't joking. When I was in Ft Knox, we would be given passes on weekends. Most of us drove places. We had to use the Travel Risk Planning System. (TRiPS). Here, you don't need to be logged in to use it, go look at it. https://trips.safety.army.mil/ (Select "army").
As you can see, it's an eight-page form. Now, when I was a humble civilian in UCD, I did not need to fill out risk assessments with contingency planning in order to drive to see my girlfriend in Galway. And God help you if you have a motorcycle. As, at the time, a commander of a combat unit with 100 soldiers, it's downright insulting. (Fortunately, it has also been cancelled as of two weeks ago) .The idiocy of having to wear reflective belts on top of clothing already designed to be reflective (or better yet, wearing them in combat zones) has become a cultural reference point equal to the Huey of Vietnam or the Iwo Jima flag raising of WW2.
Somehow the solution to every issue in the military has become bureaucracy as opposed to common sense. Instead of empowering leaders to fix identified problems, and putting some trust in soldiers, we are more and more micromanaged to address the topic-du-jour, in an organisation which by its very function is supposed to be as un-micromanaged as possible in order to be effective. If we don't empower soldiers to make their own decisions in peacetime, how are we expecting them to do so in combat?
This is now, thankfully, being addressed. We're not saying that race relations, sexual harassment, transgender acceptance, whatever, in the army isn't important, but we are much happier simply reaffirming "Respect the rank, respect the uniform, be a f***ng professional. Now let's go into the field" instead of having repetitive briefs on each individual subject for hours. Being harassment free and reserving sufficient time to train for combat are not mutually exclusive propositions. We are seeing in this last year a focus back on warfighting instead of administration, and we're happy for it.
'We can either address it by holding commanders responsible for the climate on sexual assault in their unit, and by creating a culture of professionalism, or we can address it by mandating that every three months, soldiers sit through the same hour-long lecture. Which of these two is better suited?'
What went before clearly, demonstrably, by the DoD's own investigations did not work Manic. Holding Commanders responsible is a fine idea, did and does it happen though? Sexual violence is rampant amongst your fellow officers, your suggestion amounts to 'deal with it'. With respect, they haven't been able and/or willing to do so. If they were, countless men and women wouldn't be dealing with the incredible levels of sexual assault that pervades your organisation and is perpetrated by your comrades in arms.
I truly support your value system, "Respect the rank, respect the uniform, be a f***ng professional". The problem is Manic that what went before utterly failed to achieve it. What is the source of your confidence that eliminating training courses will achieve this? It never has before.