Today, Congressman Mike Turner (OH-3) released the following statement upon the change of command at the Department of Defense’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office (SAPRO). Major General Mary Hertog will transition out of the role of director. Hertog was the first flag officer to hold the post, following language authored by Turner in the FY 2011 National Defense Authorization Act, which requires a flag officer to lead the Department’s office charged with combating sexual assault within its ranks. Major General Gary Patton will oversee the office headquartered at the Pentagon. 

“I would like to thank Major General Hertog for her work on this important issue affecting our men and women in uniform. As the first flag officer to oversee this office, she has been an important part of changing how the Defense Department responds to sexual assault within its ranks. Her work was integral to maintaining the safety and morale of our servicemembers.

“I welcome the appointment of Major General Patton to be director of SAPRO. As an infantry officer, combat veteran and principal director of the Office of Military Personnel and Policy, he has played a significant role in managing many issues facing our nation’s military. I look forward to working with him in this new role, and know that he will build upon the progress the Department has made on sexual assault under the leadership of Secretary Panetta and Chairman Dempsey.”