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Policy

Leading Change

DoD SAPRO leads change by overseeing the implementation of all policies and standards of sexual assault prevention and response. DoD’s sexual assault-related policy is adopted by the Military Departments and aims to translate concepts into action, improve outcomes, and achieve results that endure.

DoD & Services' Policies

The Department is committed to being a national leader in preventing and responding to sexual assault.
DoD and each of the military Services have issued policy to assure compliance with our mission and the rule of military law. The DoD Directive and Instructions represent requirements in the NDAA and incorporate the recommendations from government oversight bodies.

DoD Policy: Directive, Instructions, Forms, CATCH Policy, and other Memorandums & Guidance

DoD Directive 6495.01 establishes the broad policy parameters of the SAPR Program for the Department. Detailed procedures for key areas in the SAPR program are found in the DoD Instruction 6495.02 under the DoD Instructions tab. The Department’s instruction for certification of Victim Advocates is found in the Instructions tab (6495.03). Tabs for DoD SAPR-related forms and Memorandums & Guidance follow.

The Catch a Serial Offender (CATCH) Program gives victims of sexual assault making a Restricted Report an opportunity to anonymously disclose suspect information to help the Department of identify repeat offenders. Learn more at https://www.sapr.mil/catch.

A DoD Instruction implements policy, or prescribes the manner or a specific plan or action for carrying out policy, operating a program or activity, and assigning responsibilities.

Detailed procedures for key areas in the SAPR program are found in the DoD Instruction 6495.02 below, with additional DoD Instructions that inform SAPR program activity.



Establishes procedures to ensure comprehensive standards for providing health care in the Military Health System for patients who, during the course of health care, present with a disclosure of sexual assault, or disclose they have committed or are suspected to have committed a sexual assault.

DoD Directive (DoDD) 6495.01 implements DoD policy and assign responsibilities for the SAPR Program on prevention, response, and oversight to sexual assault.

Establishes policy, assigns responsibilities, and provides procedures for the MCIOs to implement a special victim capability. establish a special victim capability comprised of specially trained MCIO investigators, judge advocates, paralegals, and victim witness assistance personnel to support victims of covered special victim offenses (referred to as the SVIP capability).

Establishes policy for implementation of a Special Victim Capability (SVC) across the DoD by providing a distinct, recognizable group of appropriately skilled personnel to prosecute covered offenses; also requires the designation of specially trained prosecutors, paralegals, administrative support personnel, and victim witness assistance personnel.

A DoD Directive is a broad policy document containing what is required by legislation, the President, or the Secretary of Defense to initiate, govern, or regulate actions or conduct by the DoD Components within their specific areas of responsibilities. DoD Directives establish or describe policy, programs, and organizations; define missions; provide authority; and assign responsibilities.

DoD Memorandums & Guidance refer to documents signed and issued by the Secretary of Defense, Deputy Secretary of Defense, or Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) Principal Staff Assistants (PSAs) that, because of time constraints, have not yet been published in the DoD Directives System. Memorandums & Guidance are procedural in nature and are typically converted into a DoD Directive or DoD Instruction, unless the subject is classified with limited distribution or is material of limited or temporary relevance.

This memo addresses several initiatives designed to improve victim support: replacement of lost forms, retaliation reporting, and an electronic File Locker.

This memo directs measures to strengthen sexual assault prevention programs in support of command climate requirements.

Clarifying guidance is provided regarding mental health conditions, sexual assault, and sexual harassment to ensure veterans are aware of the opportunity to have their discharges and military records reviewed. This guidance ensures fair and consistent standards of review for veterans with mental health conditions, or who experienced sexual assault or sexual harassment regardless of when they served or in which Military Department they served.

Provides additional guidance to inform Service Discharge Review Boards (DRBs) and Boards for Correction of Military / Naval Records (BCM/NRs) decisions on applications based on criminal convictions.

Guidance for the certification for Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR) Program Managers (PM) establishes minimum standards for the qualifications necessary to be selected, trained, and certified for assignment as a SAPR PM.

Provides direction to the Services to develop plans and procedures implementing expedited transfer for those who make a Restricted Report of sexual assault.

This memorandum provides updates and clarifications to current CMG policy in DoD Instruction (DoDI) 6495.02, Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR) Program Procedures.

This memorandum directs the Services and the National Guard Bureau to  develop a plan implement Expedited Transfers for sexual assault victims without having to make their report Unrestricted.

This guidance is provided to ensure compliance with the Department of Defense’s policy regarding the enlistment or commissioning of individuals with felony convictions for sexual assault. It is the Department’s policy that the enlistment or commissioning of these individuals is prohibited under any circumstances and that no waivers are authorized.

Directs the implementation of interim policy within the Services or National Guard Bureau to fulfill the 50-year retention requirement and ensure that no existing DD Forms 2910 or 2911 are destroyed.

Describes two requirements for accountability for sex-related offenses: the inclusion of information on sex-related offenses in the personnel service records of members of the Armed Forces and the mandatory review of the personnel record notation by the commanding officer of each Service member's sex-related offenses. The Services must develop and issue regulations to implement this requirement.

  • Under Secretary of Defense Personnel and Readiness Memorandum for Regulations on Inclusion and Command Review of Information on Sex-Related Offenses in Personnel Service Records (290 KB)

    This Memorandum provides for two new requirements for accountability of sex-related offenses: the inclusion of information on sex-related offenses in the personnel service records of members of the Armed Forces and the mandatory review of the personnel record notation by the commanding officer of each Service member's sex-related offenses. The Services must develop and issue regulations to implement this requirement..

  • Director of National Intelligence Guidance on Security Clearances ("Question 21") (138 KB)

    This guidance further supports military victims of sexual assault who hold or wish to hold a government security clearance, but may be reluctant to seek mental health counseling for fear they may have to disclose the counseling on their application. This guidance allows military victims of sexual assault to answer "No" to Question 21 on the Standard Form 86, "Questionnaire for National Security Positions," which asks applicants if they have in the last seven years consulted a health care professional regarding an emotional or mental health condition, or were similarly hospitalized.

  • Secretary of Defense Guidance for Mental Counseling and Security Clearances (1.4 MB)

    This guidance provides instruction for the completion of Question 21 on the Standard Form 86 Questionnaire for National Security Positions. Question 21 asks whether the applicant has consulted with a health care professional regarding an emotional or metal health condition or was hospitalized for such a condition within seven years prior to completing the SF 86. Victims of sexual assault who have consulted with a health care professional regarding an emotional or mental health condition during this period strictly in relation to the sexual assault are instructed to answer "No" to Question 21.

  • Legal Assistance for Victims of Crimes

Describes the types of legal assistance victims of sexual assault can receive, including the Victim Witness Assistance Program, Victim/Witness Advocate or Liaison, reporting options, and more.

This memorandum provides clarification of terms that are used to determine whether an individual has been convicted of felonious sexual assault. DoD policy states that the enlistment or commissioning of these individuals is prohibited under any circumstances and that no waivers are authorized.