Reports of Sexual Assault Rock the US Air Force Academy Harvard Case Solution & Analysis

Reports of Sexual Assault Rock the US Air Force Academy Case Solution

The United States Air Force Academy has received many reports of sexual assaults on its students and staff. As such, there has been a great deal of attention focused on the issue. However, there are many misconceptions about the matter that must be addressed.

Problem Statement

The United States Air Force Academy is a 4,266 cadet strong institution near Colorado Springs, Colorado. Students from all fifty states and several foreign countries attend this venerable institution. Several factors influence the selection process: geographic, political, and end strength limitations. In the wake of a recent Department of Defense report, the US Air Force Academy is no longer immune to sexual assault problems.

It has been an ongoing issue, but the problems didn't get serious until very recently. For example, in January 2003, USAF A conducted a survey to gather information about incidents of sexual assault at the institution. Some of the results included some notable findings, like a significant increase in reporting. However, these results did not explain the origin of the problem. One theory is that senior officials were alerted to sexual assault issues as early as July 2002. Moreover, it seems that the policy requiring medical facility personnel to report sexual assaults to AFOSI was not as robust as it could have been.

On a positive note, the UCMJ is being used to provide cadets with protection from prosecution for a wide array of misdeeds. Despite this, the amnesty program carries a significant inequity. That's why the most appropriate solution is to ensure fair punishments for all cadets who participated in offenses.

Another worthy of mention is the Fowler Prize. Former Congresswoman Tillie K. Fowler was the brains behind this trinket.

Case Study Solution

Reports of sexual assault at the United States Air Force Academy (USAFA) were not addressed until very recently. Several chains of command failed to acknowledge problems, and it was only in recent years that the Air Force began to take action.

The case study is an analysis of a large number of cases of sexual assault reported at USAFA. It is not meant to be an exhaustive account of all the issues, but rather to illustrate some of the obstacles that have hindered the investigation of sexual assaults at the academy.

The first issue involved the superintendent's decision to implement an unofficial sexual assault reporting program without the prior approval of the Air Force. This decision was made without consulting with the senior staff at USAFA. In addition, the superintendent did not publicly disclose the program.

The second issue arose with the investigation of an alleged cadet rape. An upper classman allegedly raped a female cadet during summer training. She left the academy soon after the incident. During the course of the investigation, the suspect was identified and the case agent interviewed the suspect. However, the case agent did not follow up with AFOSI and the victim did not receive a follow-up letter.

Another problem was the failure of the Superintendent to make a decision regarding amnesty for infractions arising from sexual assaults. Since the amnesty program is based on the UCMJ immunity provision, officials at USAFA did not distinguish between the amnesty granted for sexual assault cases and the immunity that would be granted in a UCMJ proceeding.

Porters Five Forces

The United States Air Force Academy is a military academy with an extensive program that is designed to prepare cadets for future officership. It includes a rigorous military training curriculum, character development, and a wide range of academic courses. This year, 131 reports of sexual assault were made at the academy, and a survey of students revealed that the number is expected to increase in the coming years.

The Air Force Academy's Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program consists of two Sexual Assault Response Coordinators, two civilian victim advocates, and a staff of outreach and prevention experts. These professionals work to raise awareness of the problem and offer services to victims.

One way that the Air Force Academy is trying to reduce incidents is by requiring that incoming classes complete a mandatory training course called "Teal Rope." These cadets are trained to be "survivor advocates." They are tasked with helping others who have been affected by sexual assault. Moreover, they are required to be inducted into the Air Force Academy's peer influencer program, which helps students to learn to overcome their fears and to report.

A survey from the Department of Defense revealed that women enrolled in service academies are more likely to be the victims of sexual assault than college women. Similarly, a study found that 7.1 percent of men attending colleges and universities had experienced some form of sexual assault.

PESTLE Analysis

The United States Air Force Academy (USAFA) is a prestigious institution where cadets are trained to be leaders in the military. Yet, it's also a place where sexual assaults are prevalent. In January 2003, a USAFA survey found that one in four cadets were sexually assaulted. This is an extremely high rate, and may be linked to the culture of the academy, which values loyalty to the institution over personal integrity.

The Air Force Office of Special Investigations (AFOSI) is responsible for investigating alleged sexual assaults. However, there's no monthly report of sexual assaults to AFOSI, which can make it difficult for investigators to determine whether reports are timely or accurate.

LtGen Swope was instrumental in establishing a sexual assault reporting program at USAFA. He and other staff members were charged with developing a program that would comply with statutory requirements. Unfortunately, this program lacked an effective management structure.

LtGen Oelstrom, the newly hired Superintendent, was not well prepared to handle the program. During this time, he did not take effective steps to monitor staff members' performance or engage in reasonable management oversight.

In the case of the female cadet, she was allegedly raped by a male upper classman while she was on summer training. She left the Academy a short time later. It turned out that a second sexual assault took place by the same male cadet.

While the AFOSI investigation cleared the suspect in this case, it didn't follow up with other individuals with knowledge of the allegations. Furthermore, there was no forensic science consultant contacted. These delays were not in the best interest of the victim or the accused.

Financial Analysis

Sexual Assault Reports at the United States Air Force Academy are an ongoing problem. While the academy has a comprehensive sexual assault amnesty program, there are still many problems with the system. Some of the issues include:

A confidential sexual assault reporting program was created. This program was designed to protect victims by preventing commanders from receiving full details about sexual assaults. The program is unique among the Air Force.

The program was implemented without Air Force approval. In 1996, the Superintendent of USAF A formalized the program. During this time, the Cadet Counseling Center was excluded from the process. However, it is important to note that the Cadet Counseling Center is one of the safety nets. Its counselors work to provide counseling services for abused cadets.

At the same time, USAF A did not publicize its amnesty program. It also did not exercise reasonable management oversight. For example, LtGen Oelstrom did not effectively engage in the sexual assault reporting process. Moreover, he did not tell the Senior Staff about the program.

After September 11, 2001, the facility was consumed with security efforts. Until recently, there had not been any significant effort to address sexual assaults. Many personnel were focused on protecting the Academy.

Nevertheless, the Secretary of the Air Force appointed a seven member panel to investigate. They conducted an investigation and issued a report in 2003. Among other things, the panel found that the Air Force Working Group failed to address the issues adequately.


In the wake of the sexual assault scandal rocking the Air Force Academy, there have been numerous recommendations to address the issues. The Air Force, however, has not acted on many of the recommendations. Some of these recommendations have been based on erroneous positions. Others are intended to encourage victims to report their experiences.

A former Congresswoman headed a seven-member panel to investigate the alleged misconduct. While the panel recommended many changes, one of its main goals was to develop an amnesty program for cadets who had been victims of sexual assault.

The amnesty program was introduced in 1993. It was modeled after the UCMJ's "immunity" provision. Normally, cadets who have committed an infraction are subject to a discipline procedure. This amnesty program forgives minor infractions in connection with sexual assault.

LtGen Oelstrom, who took over as the USAF A Superintendent in 1995, inherited a sexual assault program created by the previous Superintendent. While he had no prior knowledge of the statutory requirements for sexual assault investigations, he had an obligation to ensure Air Force-wide compliance with the policies.

Oelstrom's management oversight of the sexual assault reporting process was poor. He asked questions about the unique reporting process, but failed to engage in effective and reasonable management oversight.

As a result, delays in the investigation process often did not benefit the victim. Instead, most investigations ended up in military courts martial or disenrollment from the academy.

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