FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. -- Thirteen Soldiers from General Leonard Wood Army Community Hospital completed Rape Aggression Defense classes in December at Fort Leonard Wood.

"The instruction is intended to be proactive rather than reactive," said Staff Sgt. Georgiana Treadwell, GLWACH Sexual Assault Victim Advocate.

"It's like putting seatbelts in cars. No one expects to get into an accident but in the event they do they have airbags, seatbelts, etc.," Treadwell said. "People do not expect to get raped but if they find themselves in a situation, they will have more tools."

Treadwell heard a story about a lady who was training for a marathon. The lady stopped at a rest stop to go to the restroom and was attacked.

"She had a RAD course two weeks prior to this happening," Treadwell said. "She said that the skills kicked in and she felt empowered by what she had learned at the class. She said that if she had not had that class that she probably would have frozen and not known what to do. She ended up getting the man off of her and locking him in the bathroom until the cops got there."

Understanding the need, Treadwell contacted Army Community Service and spoke with Carol Oberwager, Fort Leonard Wood Garrison Sexual Assault Response Coordinator, who is also a RAD certified instructor.

"I told her I would get her some soldiers," Treadwell said.

So, Treadwell started with females from the barracks because, "statistically, that is where most assaults happen on post," Treadwell said.

The class is currently only offered to females because training for males is different and Oberwager is only certified to teach female classes, Treadwell said.

In support, GLWACH Command Sergeant Major, Command Sgt. Maj. Peter Perkins, allowed the Soldiers to take RAD training in lieu of Physical Training.

RAD plans for 2018

"We want to do a class this summer that would be a mommy and me--mother and teenaged daughter--learning the class together. We also want to have spouses and staff trained," Treadwell said.

Each class is three hours long, lasts for three consecutive days, and is open to active duty females and female civilian TRICARE beneficiaries.

Contact Carol Oberwager at carol.a.oberwager.civ@mail.mil or by phone at 573-596-6886 to enroll and for information on upcoming class dates.

(Editor's note: John Brooks is the marketing specialist at General Leonard Wood Army Community Hospital)