Based on statistics from an anonymous survey collected by the Department of Defence every two years, the Pentagon believes that around 20,500 service members throughout the military branches were sexually assaulted in the 2018 fiscal year, including 13,000 women and 7,500 males. Kirby, 2nd para. May 2019. Establishing a successful prevention atmosphere requires an educated Army Community led by competent, informed leaders.
The Army's incorporation of sexual harassment and sexual assault training is one of its training breakthroughs, addressing prevention at the earliest point in the continuum of damage. This is a one-of-a-kind strategy among the Services, but it aims to address habits before they become more serious infractions. (Overview of the US Army's Sexual Harassment/Assault Response Program) Leaders must prioritize SHARP policy and training compliance. It begins with a three-step approach that includes teaching, coaching, and mentoring its soldiers on the seven Army principles as a foundation and the Warrior Ethos as building bricks. Is mandated yearly SHARP PowerPoint training sufficient?
Three Important Steps
Teach is the first step in bringing troops' morale and well-being up to par. There are various locations for information, including the military one source website, Army sharp online, and (AR) 600-20 Army Command Policy. The Army Chaplain is another excellent resource that is underutilized by units. If time allows on the training program, always take advantage of opportunity training, often known as hip-pocket training.
In 2007, I returned to my job as a sheriff's deputy in a tiny town in eastern Kentucky after returning from a mobilization deployment to Afghanistan. When I entered the Sheriff's office, I noticed a drawing of a person sought for interrogation for an alleged rape on a bulletin board. Jessica was the victim's first name. She had recently returned from Basic Combat Training (BCT) and Advanced Individual Training (AIT) as a member of the Kentucky Army National Guard (AIT). She jogged down the highway for long miles to improve her running to stay in peak physical shape for the Army. While she was out running, a stranger seized her and sexually assaulted her. Despite her attacker's best efforts, she was able to escape. During the first drill, the First Sergeant called out the soldier's name but got no response. Upon completion of formation, the commander and first sergeant were informed of the status of each soldier. For almost a week, the new soldier had been absent. The unit attempted to contact her but was unable. The soldier failed to show up for duty or respond to any phone calls. At the command of the generals, the soldier was ultimately freed. I went to check on the welfare of a soldier's family member. I was told she was humiliated, unable to defend herself, and suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of the rape and humiliation she had suffered.
SARCs/VAs should be used.
The first recommendation I would make to improve the effectiveness of my unit's sharp program is to hire certified Sexual Assault Response Coordinators (SARCs) and Victim Advocates (VAs). They are available 24*7 to assist with reporting, prevention, training, and awareness efforts. These professional warriors can deal with the pressures and stress of a difficult circumstance while still delivering necessary treatment to a victim. These fighters also address individual military preparedness and resilience. Sexual harassment and sexual assault have no place in the Army, and (SARCs) and (VAs) would be able to spread the word. If you've been the victim of sexual harassment or assault, they could say, "You have a voice, you have rights, and we're here to assist."
Sense of Responsibility
The second point, preventing sexual harassment, is the commander's duty. "The EOA plays a critical role in preventing sexual harassment by aiding the commander with policy understanding, training, command climate evaluations, complaint processing, and general advising assistance." (Army Command Policy, Chapter 7 of AR 600-20) Units must be held responsible and face discipline-based repercussions. Every soldier has a responsibility to protect others from sexual harassment and demand a safe working environment. Each soldier in the ranks would not only be able to recognize kinds of harassment but also intervene and prevent an incident from occurring. The Non-commissioned Officer Creed of the United Asserts Army states that NCOs are the Army's backbone. The SHARP program must be spearheaded by NCOs, who will also act as a watchdog.
Army Sexual Harassment Response Prevention (SHARP) is the acronym for the program. "I always will put the aim first," he asserts, expressing his Warrior Ethos. Never in my life will I accept defeat. I will never give up. Never will I abandon a fallen buddy." Every soldier has an important part in SHARP, which will improve preparedness and resilience. The number one training standard is SHARP. The force's readiness is of paramount importance. A single sexual assault or harassment incident may bring a unit to its knees. The overarching purpose of SHARP is to improve Army preparedness by preventing sexual assault, harassment, and retaliatory behaviors while also providing full response capabilities. Integrating these ideas into sexual harassment/assault training would significantly increase the SHARP program's efficacy.
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