Friday, March 21, 2014
The US Army has a black eye as one of its generals got off lightly for sexual harassment. The much-publicized case was supposed to be a demonstration of the army's ability to police its ranks. It didn't turn out that way. The army has a problem with women throughout its ranks. It has to protect them from its own soldiers and show that it means business. The general's "slap on the wrist" demonstrates that it can't achieve its goal easily, especially for the top brass. One of the things it can't do is to make an example of its generals through stage managing the process. The verdict lends fuel to the effort of removing sexual harassment cases from the court martial system of justice. The army -- and all the military services -- have a short time in which to show that they can discipline the ranks when sexual misconduct occurs.
A black eye is better than and entirely broken ship. From looking at how the communications teams are handling this, I think they're doing a wonderful job of framing it in a positive light. It's worthwhile to note that in public relations, nothing is ever too late or too far, sure it may be more difficult, but reputation can always be rebuilt.