By NEDRA PICKLER, Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is ordering a review of the military's response to sexual assault in the armed forces.
Obama says in a statement provided to The Associated Press that his administration has "an urgent obligation" to respond. The president is giving military leaders a year to report on their progress in responded to the crime — including in the military justice system.
The president's remarks are his first on legislation that would crack down on sexual assault passed by the Senate late Thursday.
Obama says if he doesn't see progress, he will consider further reforms to — quote — "eliminate this crime from our military ranks."
Obama isn't specifying what other reforms he would consider. The Senate is debating legislation that would take authority for prosecuting attackers away from commanders.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.