FORT DETRICK, Md. -- U.S. Army Medical Logistics Command is challenging its teams worldwide to stamp out all forms of sexual harassment and assault.
“It has no place in our armed forces,” AMLC Commander Brig. Gen. Michael Lalor said during a kickoff event April 2 for AMLC’s month-long observance for Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month, or SAAPM.
Fostering interaction from units all across the U.S. and overseas, the AMLC team organized numerous activities to raise awareness, including Teal Tuesdays, where employees are encouraged to wear teal in support for victims of sexual assault.
Other fun activities included a scavenger hunt, trivia challenge and Denim Day scheduled for April 28. The goal is to take education a step beyond standard online or face-to-face training.
“Treating people with dignity and respect so that people have a good work environment to which to operate and be their best selves is crucial,” Lalor said. “To me, this is what it is all about. We were all raised to treat people the way we want to be treated and that is what it should be for everyone every day.”
A national observance in April, SAAPM underscores the Army’s commitment to SHARP, an acronym for Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention.
This year’s theme is “Protecting Our People Protects Our Mission” as the Army continues working toward its ultimate goal of eliminating sexual assault throughout its ranks.
Staff Sgt. Ella Greene, SHARP victim advocate for AMLC and Fort Detrick, said SAAPM was created to “shed light on an epidemic that has been going on for way too long.”
“We have made great leaps and strides to combat sexual harassment and sexual assault, but we are far from being done,” Greene said, adding that the effort emphasizes the Army’s “zero tolerance” policy against such conduct.
In addition to raising awareness, Greene said the program also aims to encourage others to recognize and intervene to stop inappropriate behavior.
“With SAAPM being recognized nationally this month, everyone is more aware that it is still happening and prevalent, but don’t just put your focus solely on this month,” she said. “The prevention of sexual harassment and assault is important every single day.”
SHARP victim advocate Candace Harriday said education and awareness on the subject enhances the Army’s readiness to combat and prevent sexual harassment and assault, as well as building comprehensive response capabilities.
“A voice ignored in our Army is a mission defeated,” Harriday said. “SAAPM provides 30 days in April where we have focused voices and opportunities to truly emphasize the corrosive effect sexual assault has on Soldiers, mission readiness, team unity and trust.”