He spoke generally about sex abuse crimes in the military.
"As I said to our new Brigadier General Corps when I spoke to them about two weeks ago, 'You can do everything from this point forward in your military career perfectly, but if you fail on this, you have failed the Army,' " McHugh reportedly said.
There were 3,374 sexual crimes reported in the military in fiscal year 2012, a 6 percent increase over the previous year, according to the Defense Department report issued last week.
Military officials worry that many victims don't come forward because they fear retaliation. But the numbers might indicate that more victims are willing to report crimes than in the past.
On Monday, House Armed Services Committee Chairman Howard P. "Buck" McKeon said he was outraged and disgusted by the Fort Hood allegations.
He called the case the "latest chapter in a long, sordid history of sexual abuse" in the military.
The military was rocked in the early 1990s by the Tailhook scandal. A female Navy lieutenant said she had been sexually assaulted at a military convention by other service members.
McKeon, a California Republican, has a granddaughter in the Army.
"I see no meaningful distinction between complacency or complicity in the military's latest failure to uphold their own standards of conduct," he said. "Nor do I see a distinction between the service member who orchestrated this offense and the chain of command that was either oblivious to or tolerant of criminal behavior."