An estimated 26,000 members of the U.S. military were sexually assaulted last year but never reported the incident, according to anonymous surveys in a Pentagon report released Tuesday.
The unreported sexual assault claims in the 2012 survey are a startling increase, up from 19,000 in 2011. The number of sexual assaults reported to the Pentagon also increased, from 3,192 to 3,374 last year.
After the report's release, President Barack Obama called for strict action against those responsible -- including dishonorable discharge from the military.
"Let's start with the principle that sexual assault is an outrage," Obama said. "That's true for society at large, and if it's happening inside our military, then whoever carries it out is betraying the uniform they're wearing."
Obama has already begun talks with Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel.
The Pentagon report was released just one day after the department revealed Lt. Col. Jeff Krusinski, the man in charge of sexual abuse prevention at the Air Force, was charged with sexual assault himself.
Krusinski was removed from his position while the incident is investigated. He's accused of drunkenly groping a woman in a parking lot in Arlington, Va. early Sunday morning.
"Sexual assault has no place in the United States military. The American people, including our service members, should expect a culture of absolutely no tolerance for this deplorable behavior that violates not only the law, but basic principles of respect, honor, and dignity in our society and its military," Pentagon press secretary George Little said in a statement. "Secretary Hagel is firmly committed to upholding the highest standards of behavior in America's armed forces and will take action to see this through."