BASTROP, TX, UNITED STATES
Conquering Obstacles of SHARP
Story by: Capt. James Greenwood, 72nd IBCT Public Affairs
CAMP SWIFT, Texas – Approximately 83 Texas National Guard Soldiers from the 72nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 36th Inf. Div. participated in the Sexual Harassment Assault Response and Prevention Month obstacle course on Apr. 22, at Camp Swift, Texas. April is SHARP Awareness Month, and 72nd IBCT Soldiers showed their support for zero tolerance.
After the Soldiers completed the obstacle course, Maj. Zebadiah Miller, 172nd Engineer Battalion Commander, stated the SHARP program is a high priority and he always ensures his Soldiers understand his support.
“SHARP is about taking action," said Miller. “Are you doing something that might be offensive? Are you doing something that might be taking advantage of your relationship with someone? Check yourself first, start taking action today.”
Miller emphasized how the SHARP program promotes cultural change across the Army with a vision toward a culture of discipline and respect in which Soldiers intervene in sexual harassment and sexual assault to protect one another.
The SHARP program's main goal is to decrease, with a point toward taking out sexual offenses inside the Army through social change, avoidance, intervention, examination, responsibility, advocacy/response, appraisal, and training to sustain the All-Volunteer Force.
"The obstacle course was a great way to bring Soldiers of the brigade together to emphasize the importance of working as a cohesive team to complete a challenge,” said Col. Clarence Henderson, 72nd IBCT Commander. ”Our focus here was to enforce awareness on the prevention of any activity that would break the trust and integrity that is vital to our team."
Research shows that sexual assault is most likely to occur in environments where there are unhealthy social factors. Such factors include gender discrimination, sexual harassment, and other problems that degrade or devalue individuals and their contributions in the workplace. Based on this and other evidence, sexual assault prevention efforts in the military aim to advance a culture of dignity and respect for all who serve.
Military leaders at all levels are the center of gravity in establishing a healthy command climate. The Department’s prevention programs focus on reinforcing the cultural imperatives of mutual respect and trust, professional values, and team commitment to creating an environment where sexist behaviors, sexual harassment, and sexual assault are not condoned, tolerated, or ignored.
The goal of the 72nd IBCT SHARP program is to build awareness and stop the crime from happening in the first place. Prevention efforts should ultimately decrease the number of individuals who perpetrate sexual assault and the number of people who become victims.