Hunter Army Airfield, GA – The month of February marks the one-year anniversary of the Marne Air Advisory Board. Over the last twelve months, the advisory board has accomplished a variety of positive changes across the 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division.
The Marne Air Advisory Board, established by Retired U.S. Army Col. Michael McFadden, serves as a direct line of communication between Soldiers and the brigade command team.
Board members are recommended by their battalion command teams. Each battalion command team in the 3rd CAB selects one male and female Soldier in the rank of E-4 or below, with at least one Soldier residing in the barracks. There are currently 12 junior leaders serving on the Marne Air Advisory Board.
The advisory board was established to serve as a primary function for interviewing sexual harassment/assault response prevention victim advocates (VA) and sexual assault response coordinators (SARC). During the interview, board members take notes and offer follow-up questions to the interviewee, if necessary. The notes are then compiled and sent to the brigade command team for review and final approval of a victim advocate and a sexual assault response coordinator.
“The Marne Air Advisory Board removed the pre-existing SARC and VA from each battalion, and replaced them with trusted, approachable leaders,” said Pfc. Kelle Ross, an advisory board member assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 3rd CAB, 3rd ID. “We interviewed every last candidate and picked through with a fine-tooth comb to determine who would be best for the job.”
The advisory board also revamped the traditional SHARP training with a more interactive method by putting on educational skits to engage their audience.
“We put on entertaining, yet informational skits to get the audience to actively participate,” said Staff Sgt. Taylor Pruss, the 603rd Aviation Support Battalion, 3rd CAB, 3rd ID victim advocate. “This method of training not only helps the Soldiers retain information, but it gets our names and faces out there and allows them to recognize who their resources are.”
The secondary function of the Marne Air Advisory Board is to provide junior level feedback to the brigade command team on topics such as, but not limited to the barracks climate, equal opportunities climate, and the climate of the brigade as a whole.
“One of the very first tasks we accomplished was updating the barracks standard operating procedures,” said Ross. “We changed the visitor hours to give Soldiers a little more freedom and improve the quality of life.”
The members of the board are an outlet that ensures Soldiers' voices will be heard.
“Not all Soldiers are comfortable approaching their leadership on certain subjects. With the board in place, Soldiers can discuss any issues they may have with their counterparts on the board and have those issues addressed directly” Pruss said. “By empowering Soldiers with the proper training and resources, we are one step closer to making the 3rd CAB and Hunter Army Airfield a better and safer place.”