By Staff Sgt. John C GarverJuly 2, 2014
SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii -- More than 100 troops paused from their daily missions June 27 to demonstrate their ongoing commitment to eliminating incidents of sexual harassment and assault across their ranks through awareness and prevention training here.
The 8th Military Police Brigade-hosted the Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention stand-down for its troops and Soldiers from the 45th Sustainment Brigade and the 130th Engineer Brigade to reinforce the important roles that communication, victim advocacy, reporting, and accountability play in creating a positive climate and an environment of trust and respect.
"We are making gains when we talk about preventing sexual assault in the Army, but we still have a lot of work to do," said key speaker Col. Mark Jackson, the 8th Military Police Brigade commander.
He emphasized the priority all Army leaders should put on the SHARP program, reminded the troops of the consequences associated with sexual harassment and assault, and encouraged them to embrace the day's scenario-driven discussions.
"I am!" they shouted, after Jackson asked, "Who in this room is a professional?" and "Who is responsible for taking a stand?"
With the theme of "professionalism" in the air, the Soldiers broke into seven small groups to talk through scenarios and different ways to handle potential situations.
Spc. Randall Allen said most of the scenarios seemed to involve alcohol, brand new Soldiers in the Army or the unit, and it was great to be in the round-robin format because it gave everybody a chance to talk and share their opinions.
Jackson closed the day by charging the Soldiers to individually take a stand against sexual harassment and assault, because whether it's happening to them or to somebody around them, they never know when they could be a hero to a fellow Soldier.
In addition to these stand-down training sessions, there are a variety of other services, offices and individuals available to ensure troops are aware and actively involved in creating their Army's culture.
Soldiers can also call the SHARP dedicated hotline at 808-655-9474, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to talk to a SHARP representative.