Senator's staff visits CASCOM, discusses SHARP initiatives
August 29, 2013
FORT LEE, Va. - The Combined Arms Support Command welcomed Tommy Ross, senior intelligence and defense advisor to Sen. Harry Reid, for a tour of the command and Fort Lee Aug. 27. Ross and his team of staffers came to the Home of Sustainment to learn about the command's Sexual Harassment, Assault and Response Program and current training initiatives.
"We thought it was important to get out and talk to the people who are responsible for overseeing and leading Soldiers in the field," Ross said.
The visit provided an opportunity to showcase measures CASCOM has initiated to combat sexual harassment and assault. It also allowed Ross's group to interact with Soldiers in various stages of training to inquire about their experiences with the SHARP program.
"This organization is about taking care of its people," Maj. Gen. Larry D. Wyche, CASCOM and Fort Lee commanding general, said as he stressed that the SHARP program is his top priority.
CASCOM trains over 180,000 students annually, through 541 courses taught by the Ordnance, Quartermaster and Transportation schools, Soldier Support Institute and Army Logistics University. It is also a major subordinate command of the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command.
Upon his arrival, Ross was briefed by Wyche about the command's mission and current SHARP initiatives. During the briefing, senior leaders explained measures taken when a SHARP violation is reported.
The next stop was a working lunch with brigade and battalion leadership, which provided an opportunity for frank and open dialogue about the CASCOM program and how it compares to other locations.
Continuing their visit, the group visited P Company, 266th Quartermaster Battalion's barracks to see how Advanced Individual Training Soldiers live and the measures taken to ensure the safety of Soldiers. Some of those measures included closed circuit cameras that monitor common areas, entrances and hallways as well as segregated floors and common areas for male and female Soldiers.
Ross stated the safety measures reflect the strong and energized leadership at CASCOM, and the command's efforts to combat sexual assault and harassment.
The tour concluded at the U.S. Army Women's Museum, where the group received a briefing on culture change. The briefing, given to Soldiers on Fort Lee, explores past significant cultural changes, including the integration of women and desegregation. It is followed by a discussion of what is needed to implement cultural change regarding sexual assault and harassment. Ross complemented the command for finding innovative ways to facilitate discussions on SHARP.
Following the briefing, Ross spoke with Soldiers regarding the command's SHARP program. Platoon sergeants, SHARP advocates and Advanced Individual Training students discussed their experiences and the overall SHARP program. During this time, leaders also shared with the group information on their role in the program and how they are working to keep service members safe.
"This trip has given us great insight into the way sexual assaults are actually processed," Ross said. "We really appreciated the honest views we received and the hospitality CASCOM has shown us."