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    Fort Lee SHARP reps reach out to local university

    Fort Lee SHARP reps reach out to local university

    Photo By Lesley Atkinson | Lauren Barboza a victim advocate from 59th Ordnance Brigade, teaches ROTC cadets...... read more read more



    Story by Lesley Atkinson 

    U.S. Army Garrison Fort Lee Public Affairs

    FORT LEE, Va. - More than 30 future Army officers attended a first time Sexual Harassment/Assault Response Prevention program brief led by Fort Lee personnel at Virginia State University Jan 28.

    The students are part of the Army Reserve Officer Training Corps program at the university. The presenters included Col. Robert Hatcher Jr., CASCOM chief of staff, who opened the briefing with a leadership perspective on the SHARP program.

    “We have been reaching out to regional ROTCs (as part of the commanding general’s initiative to engage the American public),” Hatcher said. “I am here to give a senior leader perspective. It helps to hear the SHARP message from different mouths, and repetition can be a good thing.”

    Hatcher explained to the class why SHARP is a priority to the Army.

    “You are entering a very active military,” he said. “If I can’t trust you and your character is flawed, how can we be motivated and follow you into combat? We carry guns. The American citizen puts trust in us with their sons and daughters. SHARP is extremely important because violations undermine readiness. An unready Army fails.”

    Lt. Col. David Johnson, VSU professor of military science, reached out to the Army for support with the ROTC cadets.

    “When the cadets complete our program, they will be second lieutenants in the Army,” Johnson said. “All these college kids will be commissioned officers. I have been here only five months and one of the things I have really tried to do is to reach out to Fort Lee and utilize their resources. It does not make sense to overlook the opportunity to use our local assets.”

    The training was not mandatory but many of the 101 ROTC cadets came in uniform and civilian clothing during their class times to hear the briefings.

    Victim advocate Lauren Barboza from the 59th Ordnance Brigade was among the facilitators who provided sexual assault briefing to the cadets.

    “The population she said we support on Fort Lee is similar to the age group at VSU. I think providing them insight on making a decision and what to expect when committing to joining the service shows them our culture is different.”

    “In the Army, we don’t discriminate, because we have the same standards of zero tolerance for every service member,” said Barboza. “We make no distinction based on your age, time-in-service, or grade. It is a great opportunity to bridge their understanding of what their responsibility is in the military environment.”

    Master Sgt. Tifiny Graves, senior military instructor on campus, finds SHARP training to be important because they teach leadership to the cadets.

    “We are getting the SHARP message from the Army to the community,” she said. “This is not an Army here but a college. What is being taught will be taken to the campus, community and their family life. As future leaders, these students will take it out to corporations and businesses.”

    One of the cadet attendees Marqi Washington felt the training was encouraging and a need-to-know.

    “It gives the younger generation an insight on how the Army handles difficult issues like sexual harassment,” he said.

    The future plan of the college is to hold SHARP training once a quarter.



    Date Taken: 02.04.2016
    Date Posted: 02.04.2016 12:41
    Story ID: 187906
    Location: FORT LEE, VA, US 

    Web Views: 226
    Downloads: 0