By Sgt. Heather A. DenbyFebruary 18, 2011
FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. - Forty-six soldiers representing both U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command and Forces Command graduated from the installations first Sexual Harassment / Assault Response and Prevention leader's course Feb. 18 following an 80-hour block of interactive training combining methods of education, prevention and intervention of sexual harassment/assault.
In 2008, the Secretary of the Army directed Headquarters Department of the Army - Sexual Assault and Prevention Response office to restructure and integrate Prevention of Sexual Harassment and SAPR at the department level leading to the development of the SHARP program. Since then, the Army G-1 has authorized a military training team to begin training SHARP personnel in all Army organizations.
"Starting next week drill sergeants will begin a pilot program where they will learn how to begin training our civilian privates on SHARP concepts that will hopefully be instilled into them throughout their military career," said Master Sgt. Benjamin C. Pearson, the Maneuver Support Center of Excellence Installation Equal Opportunity Advisor and student enrolled in the installation SHARP training.
Once installation command is comfortable with the level of training brigade senior noncommissioned officers have received, they may request through the Department of the Army that the program be inducted throughout their post.
"The interesting thing about the SHARP program is that it was created to replace the Unit Victim Advocate and Sexual Assault Prevention Response coordinator putting more responsibility on the command," said Staff Sgt. James Campbell, the 4th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade deployable Sexual Assault Response coordinator and student enrolled in the installation SHARP training.
Combining the different programs changes very few if any of the local policies and procedures on sexual harassment/assault, says Campbell. Along with the name change, the focus has shifted from how soldiers can avoid becoming a victim to how they can identify possible offenders, he said.
"The objectives of the program are synced with the Army values and Warrior Ethos," said Campbell. "Soldiers are encouraged to intervene, act and be motivated to never leave a fallen comrade".
The SHARP program is slated to be inducted Army-wide as early as fall 2012.