Belvoir opens new resilience training center, SHARP resource center

By Amanda Stewart, Belvoir EagleJuly 21, 2016

SHARP Center Opens
Fort Belvoir and SHARP leaders cut the ribbon to the new Resilience Center and SHARP Resource Center July 13. Left to right: Lt. Col. Chris Tomlinson, Matt Sawyer, Tasha Venters, Sgt. Maj. Tamika Wynn, Maj. Gen. Bradley Becker, Sharyn Saunders, Sgt. ... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

The new Resilience Training Center and SHARP Resource Center on Fort Belvoir officially opened with a ribbon-cutting ceremony, July 13.

The building, at 9515 Hannah Lane, Bldg. 1099, the old Logan Dental Clinic location, will serve as "a one-stop shop" for resilience training programs for the National Capital Region and for Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention training programs, counseling and victim services on the installation, officials said at the ribbon cutting.

"Today is a great day for this Belvoir community," Col. Michelle Mitchell, U.S. Army Garrison Fort Belvoir, commander, said. "We're one step closer to achieving excellence in our ready and resilient mission."

Last year, the installation opened its resilience obstacle course and the new resilience training center will add to that program's success and better prepare the installation to provide resilience-related trainings and programs, Mitchell said.

"Whether it is meeting the needs of individuals, command teams, families, or providing training, this center has the capability of facilitating all of our reliance and SHARP needs and will allow us to offer high-quality services and support to our supported community here on the installation," Mitchell said.

Belvoir's new center is the 25th resilience training center to open Army-wide, guest speaker Sharyn Saunders, director of the Army Resiliency Directorate, said at the ceremony.

Saunders said Fort Belvoir is a good location for a resiliency training.

"Fort Belvoir is a great place to host this training center … [because] Fort Belvoir touches so many Soldiers in our Military District of Washington here. It's just such a great opportunity to have such a strong partnership with this installation and with the team here and be able to continue to facilitate the growth and development of our resiliency and performance skills across the Army," Saunders said.

Resiliency and performance skills are key to developing personal readiness in military members and their families, Saunders said.

"When we talk about personal readiness, we are talking about the ability for individuals, or units, and for the Army to sustain their physical wellbeing; their psychological health; their social connections; and their spiritual development; as well as their family preparedness, so that families are encouraging Soldiers to continue their service and are also part of our ready team," Saunders said. "So, it's very opportune for us to set up a training center like this one where we can train Soldiers, where we can build unit cohesion, where our family members can come in and receive resiliency training."

Half of the new building will house the resilience training center and the second half will house the SHARP resource center, where SHARP training classes will be conducted and where victims can go to report incidents and seek support services. The SHARP half of the building has private waiting rooms and restricted access for victims' privacy once it is fully operational.

Command Sgt. Maj. Stephen Bowens, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, G-1, the Pentagon, also a guest speaker at the ceremony, said it makes sense.

"It's so fitting this morning that we have SHARP and resiliency in the same house because when you join the Army, the Army makes you strong. And our resiliency team keeps you strong. So, we truly have a Soldier for life," Bowens said.

The new SHARP resource center, the 15th of its kind In the Army, "is pivotal to the growth and development of our Army," Bowens said, and will help the Army make strides towards the goal of "eliminating sexual assault from our ranks through prevention, prosecution, investigation, victim advocacy, and assessment and accountability."

"I would hope that all of you are proud because our Army has come a long, long way and today marks a major accomplishment for the Belvoir community," Bowens said.

Maj. Gen. Bradley Becker, commander, Joint Force Headquarters, National Capitol Region/Military District of Washington, also spoke at the ceremony, praising the leadership and team that helped develop and open the new training and resource center.

"All I would ask is that now that we've got this beautiful building, and this great resource center for both resiliency and SHARP, that we put that same team-level of leadership and effort into making this an effective place for our family members, our Service members and our DA civilians to come for resiliency and for counseling and continue to make this an effective place to be," Becker said.