By Capt. John MayApril 23, 2018
FORT STEWART, Ga. - The 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division rear detachment conducted Sexual Harassment Assault Response Prevention training April 9-13 at Fort Stewart, Georgia, that was different from traditional Army SHARP training.
Each April, civilian and military communities observe Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month. SAAPM provides an opportunity to shine a light on a continuing problem, highlight available resources, and develop and provide prevention initiatives.
"The Solarium was designed as an open forum discussion for groups of Soldiers to speak openly, frankly and honestly," said Staff Sgt. Jason Mosley, 1st ABCT SHARP victim advocate. "Each rank echelon has its own unique challenges. In order to adequately capture the widest range of insight, the groups were broken up by rank: private through specialist, sergeant through staff sergeant, and sergeants first class and above."
Mosley said SHARP training traditionally consists of one-way instruction that is delivered through lengthy slide presentations, but the Solariums took a different approach.
"We wanted to foster an environment of participation and thoughtful reflection," Mosley said. "We used a video that demonstrated a poignant illustration of just how detrimental sexual harassment and sexual assault can be to an organization. The video provided an effective springboard that lead into the open forum, interactive discussions amongst peers."
Leaders in 1st ABCT who attended the SHARP Solariums found the discussions to be valuable and beneficial.
"The Solarium showcased how effective culture change drives successfully mitigating the problems we see in our formations," said Sgt. 1st Michael Perry, an armor crewman with 1st ABCT.
Staff Sgt. Gary Johnson, an infantryman with 1st ABCT said the Solarium shed light on different ways to engage with Soldiers and how to effectively address behaviors that can lead to sexual harassment and sexual assault incidents.
The goal of the Solarium was to obtain feedback about the SHARP program and the effectiveness within the unit from the Soldiers' perspective, as well as learn how the program can be more effective as opposed to the traditional SHARP PowerPoint presentation, Mosley said.
"The overarching goal of the training was to gain a deeper understanding of the brigade climate," said Roger Taylor, civilian victim advocate for 1st ABCT.
Mosley said the Solarium was a very effective event for the brigade SHARP team to learn and understand Soldiers' perspectives.
The Solarium training materials such as the discussion-sparking video and a survey were sent to 1st ABCT Soldiers deployed to South Korea. The survey was designed to capture the climate and attitudes about SHARP, command support as it relates to making reports, and the effectiveness of SHARP training.