By Mr. Johnathon Orrell (SDDC)April 5, 2018
Wearing teal-colored clothing and ribbons, members of the Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command (SDDC) workforce packed the SDDC headquarters building lobby Tuesday for a ceremony to kick off Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month (SAAPM).
Hosted by Maj. Gen. Stephen E. Farmen, SDDC commanding general, and Sharon Bryant, Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention (SHARP) program manager, the ceremony focused on beginning a month of education and awareness about the negative effects of sexual assault and sexual harassment.
"Our strategic advantage in SDDC is our people," said Farmen. "That means we have to treat each other like teammates, we have to have trust, and we have to know that everybody has everybody else's back."
Starting the event with a welcome, Bryant explained the history of the Army's efforts over the last decade to combat sexual assault and harassment, as well as her goals for SAAPM and the future of the command's SHARP program.
She also announced the 2018 SAAPM themes for the Department of Defense, "Protecting Our People Protects Our Mission," and the Department of the Army, "SHARP: Shaping a Culture of Trust."
"We're going to paint SDDC teal for April and throughout the year," she said, referencing the color adopted as a symbol for sexual assault awareness and prevention.
"It will be a conversation starter, because your voice has power, and I encourage you all to use your voice -- when you see something, say something - so that we can change the culture," Bryant added.
Farmen echoed Bryant's goals and added his own personal challenge to the SDDC workforce.
"Sexual assault and awareness month is not just about the month of April. It's about every day of the year," he said.
"We have to move at the speed of trust and we have to always treat everybody with dignity and respect," he added.
During the ceremony, Farmen also unveiled the new "Are You T.R.A.C.K.I.N.G." campaign for the SDDC worldwide workforce.
The general said the campaign is about extending into auditability, diversity, inclusion, and dignity and respect throughout the command.
The acronym "T.R.A.C.K.I.N.G." stands for:
T - Trust your command
R - Recognize vulnerabilities
A - Attack indiscipline
C - Change the culture
K - Know your part
I - Intervene now
N - Never compromise Army values
G - Grow professionals
Farmen said he modeled the campaign from what he calls the "The Four C's" -- Character, Conditions, Communication, and Care, and it is intended to create a culture change within SDDC that extends beyond the surface of day-to-day operations.
"This is about authenticity, this is about being genuine, and this is about the soul of the organization," he said.
"Trust and character form the bedrock that holds and binds our profession together; shaping a culture of trust is what we're going to do," he added.
Farmen acknowledged that for the campaign to succeed, it must begin at his level and flow downward, something he has already begun.
"I have an obligation to make sure I'm tracking. And if I'm tracking, then I have the expectation that everyone in the command -- out to the tactical edge -- is doing the same thing," he said.
"Are you leading yourself first? Are we creating the conditions where people can learn, thrive, and grow to reach their full potential? Are we talking to each other like teammates? Do you want to make a difference?" he added.
Farmen closed out the ceremony by reinforcing that sexual assault awareness and prevention requires a team effort and will only succeed if everyone is acting as part of the team.
"If we accomplish anything, it is because we did it together," he said. "Be part of team SDDC, and let's make this happen together and let's move this culture forward so that we can make great things happen."