214th FiB launches new SHARP program
May 16, 2013
FORT SILL, Okla.-- In the wake of congressional efforts to halt sexual assault in the military, the 214th Fires Brigade unveiled its newest Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention program titled "In the Trenches."
The program is a two-week opportunity for the brigade SHARP team to individually focus on company level SHARP programs. With this new attention, they will ensure the 10 SHARP related tasks are performed above standard. This is extremely important because the program is designed to help command teams integrate brigade SHARP and victim advocate awareness and compliance into their formations.
The training includes checks to verify training records are stored properly, that Soldiers are aware of their resources and discussions with the command teams on program status, amongst others.
"Through this program, the brigade SHARP team will be able to assess and validate the SHARP program by being on the ground and in the lower level units more often than just during inspections. Our goal and intent is for every Soldier in the brigade to be familiar with the brigade SHARP team so they fully understand what resources are there for them if they ever need them," said Sgt. 1st Class Nicolas Raso, brigade Sexual Assault Response Coordinator.
In September of 2008, then Secretary of the Army Pete Geren challenged every Army leader to commit to a change in Army culture and eliminate sexual violence from their ranks; and to bring attitudes, words and deeds in coherence with Army Values and Soldiers' selfless commitment to one another.
"The 214th Fires Brigade is absolutely committed to eradicating sexual harassment and sexual assault in its ranks. We have devoted many resources to include: improving Soldier and unit training on prevention; creating mobile training teams to expand this training across the Army; providing professional, credentialed assistance to victims; reducing the stigma of reporting; hiring more counselors and victim advocates; and strengthening the Army's ability to track, investigate and prosecute cases. This program is just the latest addition to what we believe is a stellar system of reducing harassment and assaults in our formations," said Col. Timothy Daugherty, brigade commander.
"The SHARP program also serves as a teaching time for leaders at the battery and company levels. Having the brigade representatives side by side with the leadership will heighten awareness of the SHARP program and provide greater insight on what is expected of leaders and Soldiers to have a successful program.
"It has no hidden agenda and very little Soldier hours are required," said Raso. "The brigade SHARP team uses a light touch to prevent disrupting the units training schedule, while being thorough and comprehensive," he said.
The program also gives the reps an opportunity to evaluate SHARP awareness while assessing SHARP training, as the training period for SHARP has been lengthy. The primary effort is to ensure that leaders and Soldiers are aware and able to access the program.
"Before today, I was unaware on all the legal services that were available here within the brigade related to SHARP issues. Before, I thought SHARP representatives were the only ones who could assist Soldiers," said Spc. Timothy Edwards.
Daugherty expressed his appreciation for the hard work his SHARP team did to create the "In the Trenches" program. He said it will help the brigade get to issues before they happen instead of reacting to a trying situation.
"As they find issues, and they will, most will be solved at the lowest level of command. We remain committed to adjusting and refining our SHARP-related efforts as necessary to protect victims and provide them with the best possible support and care," he said.