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Reaffirming his commitment to eradicate sexual assault in the command's ranks, Commanding General of the U.S. Army Materiel Command, Gen. Dennis Via, appointed a senior executive as his special assistant to lead a Sexual Harassment and Assault Response Program Assurance Task Force.

The task force's charter includes reviewing AMC SHARP policy and procedures and conducting sensing sessions and site visits across the command to assess the command climate necessary to rid AMC of sexual harassment and sexual assaults.

"Sexual harassment and assault are contrary to Army values," Via said. "I am committed to fostering a culture that eliminates both from our ranks."

From now through July, task force representatives from Equal Employment Opportunity, Equal Opportunity, Chaplain, and Inspector General's offices, will meet with commanders and employees in all of AMC's major subordinate commands.

"Our goal is to ensure that everyone understands the difference between sexual assault and sexual harassment, understands the options available to them and that no one is left behind," said Task Force director Dr. Myra Gray. "Ultimately, we want to ensure an environment of dignity, respect and trust where no harassment or assault exists."

The sensing sessions will include a cross section of military and civilian volunteers from each organization. Sessions will last about an hour with the opportunity for attendees to talk one-on-one with facilitators. Results will help leaders better understand the command's climate, identify issues that may need to be addressed, and shape training to achieve the desired results.

As part of the Army's SHARP stand down, AMC's largely civilian workforce - 96 percent of its 73,000 employees - will also participate in SHARP training led by leaders from throughout the organization.

"Conducting training in small groups where supervisors are engaged with their subordinates produces the most effective results," Via said. "I intend for leaders to initiate interactive discussions on our responsibilities for maintaining a climate of dignity and respect and our Army values. It's imperative we make sure everyone understands the difference between sexual harassment and sexual assault, and how they adversely impact AMC and Army readiness."

Centered on the cornerstone of the Army's prevention strategy - the I. A.M. Strong campaign, training will encourage participants to Intervene-Act-Motivate. The I. A.M. Strong campaign features Soldiers and employees as influential role models and provides peer-to-peer messages outlining the Army's intent for all its members to personally take action in the effort against sexual harassment and sexual assault.

According to Via, one incident is too many.

"It's the responsibility of all employees, Soldiers and civilians, to eliminate sexual harassment and assault so that the Army and AMC remain a ready and resilient force," he said. "There are no bystanders."

Page last updated Mon June 10th, 2013 at 00:00