WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Wednesday, Representative Chrissy Houlahan (D-PA), a member of the House Armed Services Committee (HASC), questioned General Daniel R. Hokanson and Brigadier General Charles M. Walker during a HASC hearing entitled, “Jurisdiction, Investigation and Prosecution of Sexual Assault and Harassment in the National Guard.” Houlahan’s line of questioning focused on the ongoing investigation of sexual harassment allegations at Horsham Air National Guard Base in Pennsylvania, which is located in Representative Madeleine Dean’s (D-PA) district.
During the hearing, Houlahan noted that repeated delays and incomplete reporting have led many to believe a thorough investigation would never be completed. She pressed General Hokanson to ensure a proper investigation of the Horsham allegations and secured his commitment to deliver the most current information to her office. Further, in answering Houlahan’s questions, Hokanson pledged to directly review the report resulting from the investigation.
An excerpt of the exchange can be found below:
Rep Houlahan: General Hokanson, my questions sort of follow up as well on the conversations that you and I had yesterday. And I appreciate the chance to have spoken to you yesterday to go over some very serious concerns that I’ve had with ongoing investigations of sexual harassment allegations, as you know, at Horsham Air National Guard Base. Horsham is in my colleague Representative Madeleine Dean’s district, and I’ve been working very closely with her office since June of 2020—speaking to timeliness we are now, as we all know, in 2022—after receiving an outpouring of rightful concern from my constituents. This case has been plagued by repeated delays, as we talked about in our conversations, and incomplete reporting, and that’s been leading many, unfortunately, to conclude that it’s simply being slow rolled to the point where our demands for any accountability disappear. So, I know that you share my commitment to eradicating sexual harassment and assault from the National Guard. And I just wanted to hear your commitment that you’ll look into the Horsham investigation and make sure that there is proper oversight and that the investigation itself is concluded without any further and undue delay, sir.
Gen. Hokanson: Yes, Congresswoman, and actually, I will reach out directly to Major General Mark Schindler of the Adjudant General for Pennsylvanians to get the most current information and get that to your staff immediately. Obviously, time is always of the essence.
Rep. Houlahan: Yeah, I very much appreciate it because as you know, memories fade and people change places and they’re no longer available for people to ask questions of them. And once the investigation is concluded, would you also please commit to me that you would review the report of investigation as well?
Gen. Hokanson: Yes, ma’am. Absolutely.
Representatives Houlahan and Dean first sent a letter regarding this investigation in August of 2020.
“As a veteran, I understand that the military is not immune to some of the issues we face as a society, including sexual harassment and assault,” said Houlahan. “I am encouraged that General Hokanson agreed with me about the severity of this issue and the pressing need for timeliness and oversight. I am also grateful for his commitment to directly reach out to Major General Schindler, oversee this investigation, and personally review its results. These questions come from a place of genuine concern, and accountability is paramount to the constituents and National Guard members I represent, as well as all Pennsylvanians–I look forward to continuing our partnership in this endeavor.”
“It is great to see General Hokanson and the National Guard Bureau treating the issue of sexual harassment and sexual assault in the military with the seriousness it deserves,” Congresswoman Dean said. “Since June 2020, Congresswoman Houlahan and I have been advocating to create additional levels of National Guard Bureau oversight to ensure a full and fair investigation – it’s imperative we know the full truth to prevent future occurrences, and to be certain that all incidents of sexual impropriety are thoroughly investigated and met with the severest of consequences.”
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