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updated: 5/24/2013 10:11 AM

Obama: Sexual assault threatens trust in military

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  • President Barack Obama speaks at the commencement ceremony for the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., Friday, May 24, 2013. The president urged new graduates to exhibit honor and courage in tackling incidents of sexual assault as they assume leadership positions in the military.

      President Barack Obama speaks at the commencement ceremony for the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., Friday, May 24, 2013. The president urged new graduates to exhibit honor and courage in tackling incidents of sexual assault as they assume leadership positions in the military.
    Associated Press

 
Associated Press

ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- President Barack Obama says sexual assault threatens the "trust and discipline" that makes the U.S. military strong and respected.

Speaking at the U.S. Naval Academy commencement ceremony, Obama urged new graduates to exhibit honor and courage in tackling incidents of sexual assault as they assume leadership positions in the military.

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A Pentagon report estimates up to 26,000 military members may have been sexually assaulted last year and that thousands of victims are still unwilling to come forward. Obama says he is determined to stop the problem, saying sexual assault has "no place" in the military.

Obama also vowed to maintain America's "military superiority," even in an era of budget cuts, and promised to provide troops with all of the resources they need.

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