Since the first FOIA request by a reporter two years ago, the department analyzed local media stories around bases "to determine whether or not you can tell that, for example how many sexual assault reports were made at Cannon Air Force Base, in New Mexico, a very small place, would you be able to identify a victim of sexual assault by just knowing the number of reports were made there?"
The new data show a consistency among the installations handling the most sexual assault cases year-to-year, which include some of the military's largest posts.
"Sexual assault is fratricide in our formations, plain and simple".
While Fort Campbell's number increase dramatically between 2013 and 2016, the number of reported sexual assaults dropped at Fort Knox.More news: Jurors at Sen. Bob Menendez trial report deadlock
The flexibility in reporting allegations was made to encourage victims to come forward and "to increase reporting of sexual assault and decrease the occurrence of the crime through prevention", Galbreath said. Campbell spokesman in a statement.
According to the data, which was also broken down by branch, Naval Station Norfolk in Virginia counted 270 reported sexual assaults, while the one in San Diego had 187. In the Marine Corps, there were 837 reports in 2015 to 825 in 2016.
The Pentagon report categorizes totals based on the base where a service member reported an assault but it may have happened elsewhere.
The Air Force Academy in Colorado had 44 reports, the highest for the Air Force.More news: Apple fixes iPhone letter 'i' bug
The DOD on Friday released the numbers for installations, and combat areas of interest, around the world in the last four fiscal years.
Victim advocates say the rise in numbers does have a positive behind it as it could mean victims are becoming more comfortable reporting assaults. The military actually believes that rather than tracking reported assaults, doing a biannual, anonymous survey gives a clearer picture of the scale of sexual assault: during its latest such survey detailing 2016 incidents, 14,900 service members said they experienced some kind of sexual assault. In 2015 there were 164 unrestricted reports and 31 restricted.
"One of the features of the department's reporting program is that service members can report allegations of sexual assault at any time and at any place", said Dr. Nate Galbreath, the deputy director of SAPRO.
He said "A report could involve allegations for an incident that occurred while on deployment, while away on leave, or even prior to entering the military".More news: US Lawmakers Push Attorney General On Russia-Related Contacts During Campaign