By Keith Desbois, Combined Arms Support Command Public AffairsJune 5, 2013
FORT LEE, Va. -- As the commanding general of the Combined Arms Support Command and Fort Lee, the top priority of Maj. Gen. Larry D. Wyche, as well as the Army, is preventing sexual assault and sexual harassment. One of the avenues he has taken to spread the word is through leader professional development sessions.
One such session reached over 1,200 CASCOM leaders and students attending the U.S. Army Logistics University June 3.
"We have some very bad things happening in our ranks and across the services," Wyche said to the capacity crowd at the post theater. "We are going to fix it. We owe it to our Soldiers, to those who wear the uniform, and we owe it to the American people who trust us with their sons and daughters."
The 59th Ordnance Brigade, part of the Ordnance School, hosted retired Maj. Gen. Robert D. Shadley to speak to the CASCOM team about combating sexual assaults. His presentation on 'Leadership in Crisis' addressed his personal leadership challenges and his thoughts on how to address the situation.
Shadley is a 35-year veteran of the U.S. Army who held many leadership positions, including the Chief of Ordnance and commanding general of the Ordnance School at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., from 1995 to 1997. This was during the time when an investigation led to many Soldiers being disciplined for inappropriate behavior. Shadley led the charge to identify the victims and perpetrators as well as conduct an analysis to find the cause.
He recently published a book called "The GAMe: Unraveling a Military Sex Scandal," detailing his experiences during the Aberdeen crisis. Using excerpts from his book to aid his presentation, he commented on how the small number of service members committing sexual assaults can give the entire military a black eye.
"The sexual predator is just like a terrorist. It only takes one of them and it's a major event," Shadley said.
He also said that the military needs to concentrate on indentifying, prosecuting and discharging those who commit sexual assaults. Shadley also added that it is those bad "apples" who drag a good organization down.
Some of the key points that leaders took away from the presentation were that diversity throughout an organization is a must, and that sexual assault and sexual harassment prevention remains the command's number one priority.
In closing, he complemented Wyche and his staff on the great initiatives the command is instituting to prevent sexual assault and harassment.
"No matter what level you're at, you need to set the highest tactical, technical, ethical and moral standards," Shadley said. "That is what we need to do."