By Staff Sgt. Cashmere Jefferson, 704th Military Intelligence Brigade Public AffairsApril 11, 2017
FORT MEADE, Md. - Soldiers of the 704th Military Intelligence Brigade, 'Electron Recon', came together for a brigade run to show their support for Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month, or SAAPM, April 7.
The Army's 2017 theme, "Sexual Assault. Sexual Harassment. Not in Our Army," reinforces the mindset that all members of the Army Team are empowered and have a responsibility to prevent sexual assault, sexual harassment, retaliation and the behaviors that lead to such indiscipline.
After the run, Command Sgt. Maj. Marc A. Gianotti, senior enlisted leader of the 704th MI Bde, stressed that, "sexual assault has no place in our Army," and that each and every Soldier is charged with the responsibility to take care of each other.
The effects of sexual assault and sexual harassment have a profound impact on Soldiers, Families, civilians, the community and mission readiness.
Earlier this month, Gianotti, along with Col. Rhett R. Cox, commander of the 704th MI Bde, attended Fort Meade's SAAPM observance and signed the annual proclamation renewing the community's commitment to eliminate sexual violence.
In an effort to achieve a cultural change to stop sexual harassment and sexual assault within their unit, Cox and Gianotti led a commitment proclamation signing of their own.
"I wish I didn't have to do this as a leader in the Army, but this is important and we've got to," said Cox, as he asked the Soldiers within his formation to join him in reading the Sexual Harassment and Assault Response and Prevention (SHARP) pledge after him.
Hundreds of thunderous voices from Electron Recon brigade Soldiers echoed throughout the community, as they recited the words of the SHARP pledge in unison after their commander.
"Hearing my fellow comrades recite the pledge that loud with our leadership made me feel empowered," said Spc. Jacob N. Lines, a human resource clerk, assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 704th MI Bde. "It enabled me to have a voice in something so important and it made me feel proud to be a part of this organization."
Lines said making a public stand with his unit to have the personal courage to intervene and protect members of the Army Family from all forms of sexually offensive and abusive behavior was one the most important commitments to his organization that he had ever made.
SAAPM provides an opportunity for all members of the Army to make a personal and public commitment to ending sexual assault, sexual harassment and retaliation from the ranks.
For additional information or assistance, contact your unit SHARP representative or contact the DoD Safe Helpline 24/7: 877-995-5247, www.safehelpline.org.