Users test new SHARP software application
Master Sgt Tammy Potter, brigade sexual assault and response coordinator for the 120th Infantry Brigade, 1st Army-West, located on Fort Hood, Texas, participates in the user testing phase of the ELITE SHARP Command Team Trainer. This application prov... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

FORT LEAVENWORTH, Kan. (Sept. 11, 2015) -- Former and current commanders and senior noncommissioned officers took part in a one-day software test here to validate the ELITE SHARP Command Team Trainer, or CTT, laptop-based training application.

The BETA testing took place at the U.S. Army SHARP Academy to review content of the current application utilizing student and instructor program subject matter experts representing future users. SHARP refers to sexual harassment/assault response and prevention.

The ELITE SHARP CTT program is a spin off from the preexisting Emergent Leader Immersive Training Environment - Counseling application that uses Avatar based scenarios to teach counseling techniques for junior leaders.

The Army SHARP Program Office recognized the utility of ELITE - Counseling and worked with the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies and Army Research Laboratories to develop the ELITE SHARP CTT. This application provides upfront instructional demonstrations and interactive practice scenarios related to SHARP incidents.

The Sept 10 test was the result of collaboration between the U.S. Army SHARP Program Office, the U.S. Army SHARP Academy, Army Research Laboratories, the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies, and the National Simulation Center - Army Games for Training program.

"The goal for the ELITE SHARP CTT is to create a baseline standard that lays out the golden rules for an effective unit SHARP program," said Ashley Russell, process improvement specialist with the Army SHARP Program Office.

The BETA testing is the first phase of the software validation process. Once users provide their comments to the developer, the recommendations will be reviewed and considered for improvements.

"This is not the final product," said Tim Wansburry, with the Army Research Laboratory, Orlando, Florida. The revised program will be provided to the Army SHARP Program Office, which will then have the National Simulation Center, or NSC, conduct a software validation test. Following the NSC software testing, the program will be evaluated by Army Research Institute for how effective the program is for training.

Upon completion of testing and validation, a determination will be made for the best location to utilize this program. Russell said the CTT program could be used at an institutional setting such as the pre-command course for future brigade and battalion commanders; or at an installation setting like the company commander/first sergeant course, or solely as a unit training program at the battalion and brigade.

"We want to provide a virtual interpersonal environment for the unit command team to practice baseline knowledge and skills so they have some practice before they have to deal with a SHARP incident involving a Soldier or Department of the Army Civilian," Russell said. "A baseline standard with common references to support the unit SHARP program personnel and leaders."

Following the day-long test, participants were quick to provide feedback on how to better improve the application. Comments went as far to point out that avatars should be wearing the new Army Combat Uniform. The participants felt the new application would provide current and future command teams with a useful tool to better prepare for dealing with an SHARP incident.

Related Links: Sexual Harassment/Assault Prevention and Response Program

Combined Arms Center Website

SHARP Academy Website North America News

STAND-TO!: Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month