Pentagon Official Underscores ‘Zero’ Bullying

WASHINGTON, Dec. 21, 2011 — A senior Pen­ta­gon offi­cial today under­scored the military’s “zero tol­er­ance” against bul­ly­ing and haz­ing in light of charges brought against eight sol­diers.

Speak­ing at a Pen­ta­gon news brief­ing, Navy Capt. John Kir­by offered con­do­lences to the fam­i­ly of Army Pvt. Dan­ny Chen, who was found dead in Octo­ber from an appar­ent self-inflict­ed gun­shot wound in Afghanistan where he was deployed. The Army today charged eight sol­diers in Chen’s unit with being involved in his death, although offi­cials won’t say how.

“Our thoughts and prayers cer­tain­ly go out to the fam­i­ly here,” said Kir­by, deputy assis­tant sec­re­tary of defense for media oper­a­tions. “This is a trag­ic, trag­ic incident.”

Kir­by declined to dis­cuss the Chen case, but under­scored that bul­ly­ing and haz­ing are nev­er tol­er­at­ed by ser­vice members.

“Any sin­gle case of haz­ing or inap­pro­pri­ate con­duct to a fel­low sol­dier, air­man, Marine, sailor [or] Coast Guards­man is inap­pro­pri­ate and not accept­able,” he said. “Zero is the right number.

“We treat each oth­er with dig­ni­ty and respect — that’s what this uni­form requires,” he added. “When we don’t, there’s a jus­tice sys­tem in place to deal with it. And that’s what we’re see­ing here in the case of Pri­vate Chen.”

Kir­by said haz­ing is not tol­er­at­ed in the mil­i­tary and “if it’s found and it’s proven — it’s dealt with.”

“This is some­thing incul­cat­ed in our cul­ture from the moment you join the ser­vice,” he not­ed. “From the moment you raise your right hand through all your basic train­ing and your first tours of duty, these notions are bred into you in the military.

“We treat each oth­er with respect and dig­ni­ty or we go home — that’s it,” Kir­by said point­ed­ly. “The tol­er­ance is absolute­ly zero and the sys­tem itself, because it works and works well, is in fact, a deter­rent to future behavior.”

Kir­by not­ed there are still “mis­cre­ants” who want to defy mil­i­tary reg­u­la­tions, and reit­er­at­ed “when it’s found [and] proven, it’s dealt with.”

Kir­by also cit­ed “train­ing mech­a­nisms” in place through­out all the ser­vices designed to help curb these types of incidents.

“Whether you’re an offi­cer or enlist­ed, this is some­thing bred into you when you come into the ser­vice,” he said.

“Unfor­tu­nate­ly, you’re nev­er going to be 100 per­cent per­fect in this,” Kir­by said. “And there’s going to be those few who want to flaunt what the uni­form stands for and what the reg­u­la­tions require … when that hap­pens they’re going to be dealt with.” 

U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs) 

Face­book and/or on Twit­ter

Team GlobDef

Seit 2001 ist im Internet unterwegs, um mit eigenen Analysen, interessanten Kooperationen und umfassenden Informationen für einen spannenden Überblick der Weltlage zu sorgen. war dabei die erste deutschsprachige Internetseite, die mit dem Schwerpunkt Sicherheitspolitik außerhalb von Hochschulen oder Instituten aufgetreten ist.

Alle Beiträge ansehen von Team GlobDef →