By Sgt. Michael Reinsch, U.S. Army Europe Public Affairs April 15, 2014
WIESBADEN, Germany -- Master Sgt. Richard Fry, the Sexual Assault Response Coordinator for U.S. Army Europe's 18th Engineer Brigade , was selected as the USAREUR and Department of the Army 2014 Sexual Assault Response Coordinator of the Year.
Fry, based in Schweinfurt, Germany, earned the honor for being the driving force for leading cultural change at his unit.
"It's truly a demonstration of USAREUR's commitment," said. Lt. Gen. Donald M. Campbell, USAREUR commander, during the April 9 ceremony to recognize Fry. "To have the SARC of the Year be from United States Army Europe is indicative of the strong support we give the program here in Europe, and commitment we have to treating everybody with dignity and respect and really winning this fight against sexual assault and harassment."
"This is humbling and overwhelming," said Fry, a Reed City, Mich., native. "I got here because of the support I got from my command, who empowered me to do my job. It wasn't just my efforts alone; it was a collective effort from everybody in the brigade. I did best I could do, like any noncommissioned officer should."
Each year the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office recognizes one service member or DoD civilian who performed exceptionally as the SARC and demonstrated outstanding support of the Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention program.
Nominees are selected based on a combination of contributions to and accomplishments in the SHARP program.
"Fry clearly demonstrated his tremendous efforts in support of the Army's SHARP program, developing and executing initiatives to achieve culture change in his organization and community," said Rosalind Dennis, USAREUR's SHARP program manager.
An organization's SARC, with assistance from victim advocates, oversees training for the response and prevention of sexual assault; is responsible for ensuring that victims get appropriate and responsive care; and tracks the services provided to a victim of sexual assault from start to finish.
"We got out on the ground and started interacting with Soldiers," said Fry. "Education was our number-one priority when I first took over this job, because it's about getting people to understand what [SHARP] is about and what we can do for them."
April has been designated as Army Sexual Assault Awareness Month. "Speak Up! A Voice Unheard is an Army Defeated" is this year's theme.
For more information about the SHARP campaign, visit the USAREUR and Army SHARP websites at the links above.