MICC seeks to expand SHARP reach, effectiveness
Shirley Herwig provides a briefing on the Army Sexual Harassment/ Sexual Assault Prevention Program during a Mission and Installation Contracting Command SHARP stand-down day. Herwig is the MICC SHARP program manager. (Photo Credit: Daniel P. Elkins) VIEW ORIGINAL

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas (March 11, 2021) -- The Mission and Installation Contracting Command Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention program manager is seeking volunteers from across the command to serve as sexual assault response coordinators or victim advocates as a collateral duty.

The Army SHARP program aims to enhance Army readiness through the prevention of sexual assault, sexual harassment and associated retaliatory behaviors while providing comprehensive response capabilities.

Shirley Herwig, the MICC SHARP program manager, said the recruitment effort supports the Army’s continued commitment to creating and sustaining healthy command climates and a culture of dignity and respect founded on Army Values and exemplified through cohesive teams.

“A robust and active SHARP program reduces the prevalence of sexual harassment, sexual assault, and retaliation through commander-led innovations that address key vulnerabilities that erode organizational trust and negatively impact unit integrity required for mission success,” she said.

Herwig added that sexual assault response coordinators and victim advocates will help sustain the command’s response capability by providing SHARP victim support, assist with updates to SHARP billboard notices, and expand program training and resources. She explained that those performing the additional or collateral duty should anticipate dedicating about 10% to 15% of their time to the SHARP program monthly.

Volunteers selected are required to complete an 80-hour SHARP Foundation Course and maintain SHARP credentials through the National Organization for Victim Assistance in order to perform related duties. SARC and victim advocates must be a military member or Department of the Army civilian and be credentialed through the DoD Sexual Assault Advocate Certification Program to perform their duties.

Brig. Gen. Christine Beeler, the MICC commanding general, is charged with the oversight of implementing effective SHARP measures.

“Sexual assault, sexual harassment and associated retaliatory behaviors are contrary to Army values and pose a devastating effect on our people, processes and performance,” Beeler said. “Sexual harassment or sexual assault has no place in our Army. Complaints of sexual harassment and unrestricted reports of sexual assault are thoroughly investigated, and offenders will be held appropriately accountable for their actions.”

Although most across the Army are familiar with the SHARP program and take part in annual ancillary training, fully understanding the differences between restricted and unrestricted reporting as well as reporting windows for both Soldiers and Army civilians continued to prove challenging. Herwig said such lapses could contribute to missing mandated reporting periods.

Soldiers have 60 calendar days from the date of the alleged sexual harassment incident in which to file a formal complaint. Formal complaints by civilian employees must be filed within 45 calendar days through the equal employment opportunity process. Informal complaints are not investigated unless it becomes a formal complaint. Additional information and the latest resources can be found at the Army SHARP website at https://www.armyresilience.army.mil/sharp/index.html.

Those interested in volunteering may contact the MICC SHARP program manager at (210) 466-2343 or (210) 560-5531.

About the MICC

Headquartered at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, Texas, the Mission and Installation Contracting Command consists of about 1,500 military and civilian members who are responsible for contracting goods and services in support of Soldiers as well as readying trained contracting units for the operating force and contingency environment when called upon. As part of its mission, MICC contracts are vital in feeding more than 200,000 Soldiers every day, providing many daily base operations support services at installations, facilitate training in the preparation of more than 100,000 conventional force members annually, training more than 500,000 students each year, and maintaining more than 14.4 million acres of land and 170,000 structures.