Last year brought 1,967 reports of sexual assault in the Army, including one at Redstone Arsenal.
"That is 100 percent too many," Redstone senior commander Lt. Gen. Patricia McQuistion said. She spoke Friday in Bob Jones Auditorium at Team Redstone's kickoff for Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month.
McQuistion asked everyone to stand, raise their right hand and reaffirm their oath to support and defend the U.S. Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic.
"Sexual harassment, sexual assault, cannot coexist with the Constitution of the United States," she said.
McQuistion emphasized there are no bystanders in this fight. The Army has a history of spearheading cultural societal changes that improve the nation over time, and this is another battle that must be fought and won, she said.
Sgt. Maj. Bruce Williams, Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention program manager at the Army Materiel Command, was the kickoff's master of ceremonies.
"Sexual assault is a crime that affects us all," Williams said.
The Garrison's Command Sgt. Maj. Bob Lehtonen read the Redstone Arsenal proclamation, signed by McQuistion, for Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month in April. "Now is the time to intervene, act and motivate," it stated in part.
Among the attendees was Whitney Martin, a management planning specialist in the Program Executive Office for Missiles and Space. She serves as a Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention victim advocate.
"Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month gets me excited because it is a time where leadership, workforces and communities acknowledge that sexual assault and harassment are issues that need to be dealt with," Martin said. "And during this time, we work on preventing horrific acts of sexual harassment and assault. We cannot prevent sexual violence if we do not first admit that it is an issue."