The U.S. Senate approved a measure on Wednesday that would require the military to automatically discharge service members convicted of rape, forcible sodomy, or sexual assault. Currently, troops convicted of these crimes are still able to remain in the military, according to the Air Force Times:
Military courts often have great flexibility in sentencing, so someone could be fined or reduced in rank if convicted of sexual assault without necessarily being forced out of service.
The measure is an amendment to the 2013 defense policy bill. Another amendment awaiting Senate approval would require service members accused of rape, forcible sodomy, or sexual assault to be tried by court-martial instead of nonjudicial punishment.