By Mr. Robert Timmons (Jackson)April 7, 2016
There is no better place to teach Soldiers that sexual assault and sexual harassment are not compatible with Army life than Basic Combat Training.
The 193rd Infantry Brigade aimed to teach the Soldiers in Training in its ranks how harassment needed to be stamped out during a brigade run April 5 as part of the Army's Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month.
This year's theme is "Sexual Assault. Sexual Harassment. Not in Our Army."
"Sexual assault and sexual harassment is a cancer within our ranks," said Col. Milford Beagle, the 193rd commander. "We have to eliminate that cancer."
"The Sergeant Major of the Army has an initiative called 'Not in my Squad,'" he added. "To eliminate
that cancer we have to expand on that initiative for it's not only not in my squad, it's not in my platoon, it's not in my company, it's not in my battalion, and it is certainly not in my brigade."
During the run, Soldiers were asked to reflect on how they can be part of the solution to the sexual assault and harassment problem.
"All over the Army April is Sexual Assault Sexual Harassment Prevention Month," said Maj. Gen. Roger Cloutier, Fort Jackson commander, to the assembled brigade before the run. "We cannot be bystanders in this problem. People talk about it all the time and I see reports of it every day and as your brigade commander said, it is a cancer. Yet it occurs every day all over our Army and it undermines the readiness of our formation. You can't be a bystander. If you see an incident
or you see something, you have to have the courage to act."
Sexual assault and harassment takes many forms, Cloutier said.
"It's not just male on male, male on female, female on female," Cloutier said. "It comes in many forms and it is not based on gender. We have to keep our eyes open and have it become part of culture as we transform from civilians into Soldiers. It sounds like everyone in the formation will do the right thing."
He added Soldiers must look out for each other because "We are our brothers' and our sisters' keepers."
It's imperative for Soldiers, especially those on Fort Jackson, to fight harassment.
"Bottom line is that what we do here at Fort Jackson is create readiness for the Army. We build Soldiers who can go out and fight our nation's wars. Anything that detracts from combat readiness has to be removed from our formations."
The post's SAAPM events began Monday with Fort Jackson SHARP specialists handing out educational
materials at the gates and will continue throughout the month with various events such as live scenarios at the Exchange, the Garrison SHARP Awareness program at the NCO Club April 14, a senior leader lecture April 26, and a Denim Day April 27.