Updated Regs Identify Online Hazing as Harassment; Add Synthetic Drug Testing for “Spice” and “Bath Salts”

By David Gercken, Army Resilience DirectorateAugust 26, 2020

July 2020 revisions to two key Army Regulations (AR) identify a new form of harassment and add two synthetic drugs to the list of substances that Soldiers are screened for during drug testing.

Updates in AR 600-20, Army Command Policy, identify that hazing may occur over electronic devices and that this online hazing is a form of harassment. Revisions to AR 600-85, the Army Substance Abuse Program, state that Soldiers will be tested for Synthetic Cannabinoids and Cathinones, commonly referred to as “Spice” and “Bath Salts.”

The revisions incorporate guidance and directives published since the last publication of the regulations and consolidates them into one location, said Shawn Lockhart, Policy Branch Chief for the Army Resilience Directorate. The revisions also update specific areas based on recent changes to laws or policy and underscore the Army’s commitment to Readiness and Resilience (R2), the Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention Program, and the Army Substance Abuse Program, he added.

AR 600-20 prescribes the policies and responsibilities of command, which include the Army Ready and Resilient Campaign Plan, military discipline and conduct, the Army Military Equal Opportunity Program, and the SHARP Program.

Highlights in the July 2020 revision include laying out the four strategic objectives of the R2 Campaign Plan:

·      Sustained personal readiness to meet operational requirements.

·      Sustain a values-based organization of trusted Army professionals.

·      Enhanced visibility of personal readiness throughout a career.

·      R2 management that enables personal readiness.

Within the SHARP Program, key updates include the addition of Sexual Assault Incident Response Oversight Report requirements, the incorporation of DoDD 6495.01, the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program—which implements DoD policy and assigns responsibilities for the SAPR Program on prevention, response, and oversight to sexual assault; and DoDI 6495.02, SAPR Program Procedures—which establishes comprehensive procedures for responding to the crime of sexual assault within DoD, ensuring that victims are cared for with dignity and respect. Additional highlights include the implementation of Installation Sexual Assault Review Boards, and incorporating Investigation of Sexual Assault and Sexual Assault Incident Response Oversight requirements.

AR 600-85 provides comprehensive alcohol and drug-abuse prevention and control policies, procedures, and responsibilities for Soldiers of all components, DA Civilians, and other personnel eligible for ASAP services.

In addition to testing for “Spice" and “Bath Salts,” revisions include the addition of Gambling Disorders to the Prevention, Education and Training Objectives; aligning ASAP’s Clinical Care primary responsibility to the Surgeon General; providing updated guidance for administrative processing for separation of Soldiers for alcohol or other drug abuse; and implementing the designation of certain positions as Testing Designation Positions under the Army Drug-Free Federal Workplace Program.

These revisions support leaders' efforts to implement a holistic, comprehensive prevention model aimed at strengthening Soldiers, DA Civilians and Family members, building protective factors, and fostering a culture of trust that promotes readiness, successful service, and cohesion.

Copies of the revised regulations can be downloaded from the Army Publishing Directorate at https://armypubs.army.mil/.