CAMP CARROLL, South Korea -- Walking around the U.S. Army Medical Materiel Center-Korea, staff members and visitors alike see some familiar faces.
Those faces, like USAMMC-K Commander Lt. Col. Marcus D. Perkins and Sgt. Maj. Blair Richards, can be found on posters promoting the Army’s Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention program, known as SHARP.
“The SHARP theme of ‘This is My Barracks’ has been strongly promoted here in Korea,” said Sgt. 1st Class Jason Nichols, USAMMC-K’s sexual assault response coordinator. “We took that theme, personalized it a bit and expanded it to not only capture our barracks, but our entire footprint as ‘Not on Our Turf.’
“It represents a commitment to stomping out sexual harassment and assault on our ‘turf,’ rather than just the barracks,” he said.
The SHARP team at USAMMC-K, a direct reporting unit to Army Medical Logistics Command, have developed different posters and other handouts, such as a wallet-sized pamphlet, that reflect that personalized message, and Nichols said it has garnered positive feedback from Soldiers and staff members alike.
“I think they have been effective and serve to show members of our community that we are genuinely committed to not just the SHARP program, but to each other,” Nichols said.
To help connect Soldiers and stakeholders to resources, some of the USAMMC-K posters feature a QR code that allows someone to use their cellphone to scan it and instantly get connected to professional assistance through the Department of Defense’s Safe Help Line.
Nichols said the personalized campaign has made Soldiers more inclined to actively participate “since they know the people captured within its pages.”
The priority has always been to eliminate barriers between Soldiers and their SHARP and command teams, he added, crediting former commander, Lt. Col. Marc R. Welde, for getting the initiative rolling.
Last year, USAMMC-K also added a quarterly SHARP Advisory Council meeting that allowed Soldiers to speak candidly with members of the SHARP team about issues they were facing or ideas to improve the program.
“The council has also spawned an initiative to improve the locations of street lighting on Camp Carroll to increase Soldiers safety while traveling during night-time hours,” Nichols said. “The council meetings have recently been moved to monthly rather than quarterly, based on Soldier feedback.”
Following the theme of eliminating barriers, USAMMC-K’s SHARP team also has developed and deployed anonymous drop boxes around the center’s footprint to provide another avenue to report incidents and provide information without fear of incriminating themselves or others.
Nichols said the Army’s program remains important "because everyone deserves to work and live in an environment free of sexual assault and harassment."
Perkins joined Nichols in emphasizing that every member of the “Never Settle” team deserves to be treated with dignity and respect.
“We are a family and we won’t settle until everyone is treated with dignity and respect,” Perkins said. “We are empowering each member of the family with tools and information to protect them and eliminate those suffering in silence.”
Nichols pointed to a comment made by one of his victim advocates, Staff Sgt. Anthony Peterson, to summarize the reason behind the USAMMC-K SHARP team’s extra effort to promote the program.
“If our Soldiers see that we are invested in our program, hopefully it reflects that we do this for them and that we care,” he said, quoting Peterson. “I don’t think I could put it much better myself.”