“This is going to be an all-hands-on-deck effort under my administration to end the scourge of sexual assault in the military,” Biden said during a speech from the White House’s East Room.
“Now, we’re going to be focused on that from the very top. I know that we can do it. The U.S. Military has defeated American enemies on land, and air, and sea. And this is not beyond us. “
His speech came on International Women’s Day and as the administration installed a White House Gender Policy Council, which aims to promote gender equity in the federal government.
The council’s mandate includes combating “systemic biases and discrimination, including sexual harassment, and to support women’s human rights.”
During his remarks, he also heaped praise on two female generals his administration elevated to serve as combatant commanders. Biden tapped Army Lt. Gen. Laura J. Richardson to lead the Southern Command and Air Force Gen. Jacqueline D. Van Ovost to lead the Transportation Command.
“I want to thank the Gen. Van Ovost and Lt. Gen. Richardson for their exemplary careers and service to our country,” he said.
“You’re America’s patriotism at its finest. Undaunted and absolutely able to do anything by any obstacle … it’s my great honor to serve as your commander-in-chief.”