Three retired generals have endorsed a legislative measure sponsored by a US senator that would reform how the military prosecutes rape and sexual assault.
An amendment to the annual national defense authorisation bill, proposed by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, would remove the responsibility for the prosecution of rape, sexual assault and other criminal cases from the chain of command and hand it to independent military prosecutors.
It is vehemently opposed by the joint chiefs of staff, who say it would undermine "good order and discipline" in the ranks. It was blocked by the Senate armed services committee, which struck down the amendment in favour of alternative measures to tackle concerns over sexual assault in the US military.
The new supporters of Gillibrand's proposals includes Lieutenant General Claudia Kennedy, the first woman to reach the rank of three-star general, and brigadiers general Loree Sutton, formerly the highest-ranking psychiatrist in the US army, and David McGinnis, a former principal deputy to the assistant secretary of defense for reserve affairs.