SHARP Program Restructuring Underway, New Guidelines

By Army Resilience DirectorateMarch 1, 2023

Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention (SHARP) program restructure is underway. The restructure is part of a large transformational effort to provide better victim support and professional oversight. These changes are based in part on recommendations from the Secretary of Defense Independent Review Commission (IRC) on Sexual Assault in the Military, the Fort Hood Independent Review Committee, the Government Accountability Office Report and the results of the Workplace and Gender Relations Survey of Active-Duty Members (WGRA).

“These evaluations were an opportunity to see ourselves and determine where changes needed to be made. The way we provide services from a professional standpoint will change, but reporting options and services to victims will remain the same. They are our top priority”, says Jill Londagin, the Army’s SHARP Director.

The Army’s SHARP program is the only service program that combines sexual harassment and sexual assault prevention and response, which allows us to address sexual misconduct across a continuum of harm, according to Londagin.

The Army will remove Sexual Assault Response Coordinators and Victim Advocates from the operational chain of command and realign the SHARP program's reporting structure to the senior commander. This new structure will provide optimal victim assistance and reporting opportunities to service members, expert support to commanders and the oversight needed at the senior command level to appropriately execute the SHARP mission.

What does the new structure look like?

Program Managers will be authorized at select U.S. Army Command Structure (ACOM), Army Service Component Commands (ASCC), Direct Reporting Units (DRU) based on organizations that have downtrace installations that deliver services and provide case management for victims. Program Managers provide technical oversight to their subordinate Lead SARCs, and they report to their respective CG as special staff.

SHARP Compliance Specialists and SHARP Program Support Specialists will be authorized at the select ACOM, ASCC, DRUs to provide professional oversight and programmatic support.

Lead SARCs will serve at the senior command level, but not at all geographic locations. They report directly to the installation's Senior Commander but receive technical guidance from their respective Program Manager.

Supervisory SARCs report directly to the Lead SARC. These positions are based on the number of SARCs and VAs a Lead SARC is responsible to manage. The primary role of a supervisory SARC is to maintain proper OPM supervisor ratios and assist the Lead SARC by augmenting the SHARP technical chain for large organizations.

SARCs and VAs will be distributed based on the population size of each installation, whether supporting a specific brigade or providing overarching support. In some cases, resources will not be organic to a specific unit but will be shared across an installation to cover multiple tenant units.

SHARP Program Prevention Specialists support the Senior Commander and are responsible for the coordination and implementation of comprehensive primary prevention activities that address individual, interpersonal, organizational and community factors that contribute to sexual harassment and sexual assault.

SHARP Program Support Specialists support the Senior Commander and Lead SARC in meeting the administrative and programmatic tasks for coordination, implementation and execution of the SHARP mission.

One question on the minds of many is, will Soldiers continue to serve in the SHARP program?’ The answer is yes. Londagin says, “Soldiers serve a vital role in the SHARP program. Those who have completed the career course and are credentialed will continue to serve in the SHARP program. Transition to civilian positions will take time, certain locations may have difficulty filling positions, and a decision regarding collateral duty positions will not be made until FY24.”

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