President Barack Obama is giving military leaders one year to improve the prevention and handling of sexual assault crimes in the armed forces.
In a statement released Friday, Obama lauded congressional leaders for highlighting the "scourge" of assault and including substantial reforms in the National Defense Authorization Act approved by the Senate late Thursday night.
"Today, I instructed Secretary Hagel and Chairman Dempsey to continue their efforts to make substantial improvements with respect to sexual assault prevention and response, including to the military justice system," Obama said. "I have also directed that they report back to me, with a full-scale review of their progress, by December 1, 2014. If I do not see the kind of progress I expect, then we will consider additional reforms that may be required to eliminate this crime from our military ranks and protect our brave service members who stand guard for us every day at home and around the world."