H.R. 5344 (112th): To prevent and respond to hazing incidents involving members of the Armed Forces, and for other purposes.

112th Congress, 2011–2013. Text as of May 07, 2012 (Introduced).

Status & Summary | PDF | Source: GPO

I

112th CONGRESS

2d Session

H. R. 5344

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

May 7, 2012

(for herself, Mr. Cummings, and Mr. Honda) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Armed Services

A BILL

To prevent and respond to hazing incidents involving members of the Armed Forces, and for other purposes.

1.

Comprehensive Armed Forces policy on prevention and response to hazing involving members of the Armed Forces

(a)

Hazing defined

The Secretary of Defense, in consultation with the Secretaries of the military departments and the Secretary of Homeland Security (with respect to the Coast Guard), shall assess and develop a uniform definition of hazing applicable to members of the Armed Forces for inclusion in the Uniform Code of Military Justice. The Secretary of Defense shall submit the definition to the designated congressional committees not later than 90 days after the date of the enactment of this Act. It is the sense of Congress that the definition should cover, at a minimum, any situation in which a member of the Armed Forces suffers, or is exposed to, any cruelty, indignity, humiliation, hardship, harm, harassment, or oppression, or the deprivation or abridgement of any right by another member of the Armed Forces.

(b)

Comprehensive Armed Forces policy required

(1)

Policy required

Not later than one year after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Defense, in consultation with the Secretaries of the military departments and the Secretary of Homeland Security, shall develop and implement a comprehensive policy on the prevention of and response to hazing involving members of the Armed Forces.

(2)

Consideration of recommendations

In developing this policy, the Secretaries shall consider the recommendations made and findings of the Inspectors General of the Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security in reports investigating hazing involving members of the Armed Forces and the recommendations of the Comptroller General of the United States under subsection (e).

(3)

Use of definition

The policy shall reflect the comprehensive definition of hazing determined pursuant to subsection (a).

(c)

Information database on hazing incidents

(1)

Database required

The Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Homeland Security shall develop and implement a centralized, case-level database for the collection and maintenance of information regarding hazing involving a member of the Armed Services, including hazing incidents occurring at officer candidate schools, military academies, military academy preparatory schools, and basic training and professional schools for enlisted members. The collection and maintenance of information in the database shall be conducted in a manner consistent with Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security regulations for restricted reporting.

(2)

Scope of Database

The database shall provide the following information with respect to each Armed Force:

(A)

Description of each hazing complaint.

(B)

Substantiated incidents of hazing.

(C)

The nature and date of the hazing.

(D)

The victim, including race, gender, and rank.

(E)

The alleged offender, including race, gender, and rank.

(F)

The branch and division in which the hazing incident occurred, along with whether it took place during a contingency operation.

(G)

Actions taken to resolve hazing, including disciplinary action, transfer of an offender as a result or related to the offense, and training, policy, and internal guideline changes to address hazing.

(H)

The outcome of any legal proceedings in connection with the hazing.

(3)

Implementation

(A)

Plan for implementation

Not later than 90 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Homeland Security shall submit to the designated congressional committees a plan to provide for the implementation of the database.

(B)

Relation to defense incident-based reporting system

Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Defense shall submit to the designated congressional committees a report containing—

(i)

a description of the current status of the Defense Incident-Based Reporting System; and

(ii)

an explanation of how the Defense Incident-Based Reporting System will relate to the database.

(C)

Completion

Not later than 15 months after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Homeland Security shall complete implementation of the database.

(d)

Annual reporting requirement

(1)

In general

The database required by subsection (c) shall be used to develop and implement an annual congressional report.

(2)

Reports required

Not later than January 15 of each year, the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Homeland Security shall submit to the designated congressional committees a report on the hazing incidents involving members of the Armed Forces during the preceding year.

(3)

Elements

Each report shall include the following:

(A)

An assessment by the Secretaries of the implementation during the preceding year of the policies and procedures of each Armed Force on the prevention of and response to hazing involving members of the Armed Forces in order to determine the effectiveness of such policies and procedures.

(B)

Data on the number of alleged and substantiated hazing incidents within each Armed Force that occurred that year, including the race, gender and Armed Force of the victim and offender, the nature of the hazing, and actions taken to resolve and address the hazing.

(e)

Comptroller general report

(1)

Report required

Not later than one year after the date of enactment of this Act, the Comptroller General of the United States shall submit to the designated congressional committees a report on the policies to prevent hazing and systems initiated to track incidents of hazing in each of the Armed Forces, including officer cadet schools, military academies, military academy preparatory schools, and basic training and professional schools for enlisted members.

(2)

Elements

The report required by paragraph (1) shall include the following:

(A)

An evaluation of the definition of hazing developed under subsection (a).

(B)

A description of the criteria used, and the methods implemented, in the systems to track incidents of hazing in the Armed Forces.

(C)

An assessment of the following:

(i)

The scope of hazing in each Armed Force.

(ii)

The policies in place and the training on hazing provided to members throughout the course of their careers for each Armed Force.

(iii)

The actions taken to mitigate hazing incidents in each Armed Force.

(iv)

The effectiveness of the training and policies in place regarding hazing.

(v)

The number of alleged and substantiated incidents of hazing over the last five years for each Armed Force, the nature of these cases and actions taken to address such matters through non-judicial and judicial action.

(D)

An evaluation of the additional actions, if any, the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Homeland Security propose to take to further address the incidence of hazing in the Armed Forces.

(E)

Such recommendations as the Comptroller General considers appropriate for improving hazing prevention programs, policies, and other actions taken to address hazing within the Armed Forces.

(f)

Designated congressional committees defined

In this section, the term designated congressional committees means—

(1)

the Committee on Armed Services, the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and the Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation of the Senate; and

(2)

the Committee on Armed Services, the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of Representatives.