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    Fort Bliss hosts Ironclad Summit

    Fort Bliss hosts Ironclad Summit

    Photo By Sgt. Christina Westover | Maj. Gen. Sean Bernabe (left), the Commanding General of the 1st Armored Division and...... read more read more



    Story by Cpl. Christina Westover 

    24th Theater Public Affairs Support Element

    FORT BLISS, Texas – Maj. Gen. Sean Bernabe, the Commanding General of the 1st Armored Division and Fort Bliss hosted the Ironclad Summit for command teams from across the installation, March 11, 2021 to develop leaders to create a trusting and caring environment for Soldiers.

    “What is absolutely fundamental to Operation Ironclad is improving the strength and the cohesion of our teams,” said the Commanding General. “We’ve all heard General McConville, the Chief of Staff of the Army, talk about People First and when it matters. Operation Ironclad is all about caring for our people -- people first.”

    Operation Ironclad is the 1st Armored Division’s approach to eliminate the harmful behaviors of sexual harassment, sexual assault, extremism, racism, and to prevent suicide here on Fort Bliss.

    “One key element here is ‘This is My Squad,’” said the Honorable John Whitley, Acting Secretary of the Army while addressing the command teams. “This effort has been ongoing but needs direct engagement by you. We are engaged in many actions, like our changes to command selection and institutionalizing independent reviews, but we must address this at its core level, which is cohesive teams. The squad is the foundational level at which the solutions start. We have to address this when in-processing of Soldiers, at NCO education institutions and ensuring proper leader development. I need help from the people in this room to carry this effort to our younger Soldiers and leaders.”

    Portions of the summit included command teams visiting informational booths that showed an interactive approach to educating their teams and putting themselves in the Soldier’s perspective. The purpose of the booth exercises is to develop critical thinking skills in order to make the right decisions when it comes to taking care of Soldiers.

    “We’ve put months of planning into this concept and we want to ensure that the participants aren’t just choosing an answer because it’s not the worst one,” said Sgt. 1st Class Anthony Bronson, the Sexual Assault Response Coordinator for Division Artillery, 1st Armored Division and the lead planner for the escape room. “We want to ensure that they think through all of the possibilities and outcomes so that they understand there are multiple courses of action and possibly more than one right answer.”

    The Fort Bliss Chaplains were also on hand to offer command teams some spiritual tools to better help Soldiers.

    While the summit addresses ways for commands to take care of their Soldiers, Whitley emphasizes the importance of creating a trusting and safe environment so that Soldiers feel more comfortable reporting misconduct without fear of reprisal.

    “You are one of the most critical elements for bringing about the change that we need,” said Whitley. “The overwhelming majority of our victims are between 18 and 24 years old. However, it is the Brigade and Battalion leadership that must create the conditions for cohesive teams, zero tolerance for Soldiers attacking other Soldiers, and a climate where victims are willing to come forward. Your Soldiers must feel safe in their barracks, in their unit formations and out on weekends with their peers. This does not mean micro-management, it means treating Soldiers like adults with dignity and holding people accountable when necessary.”

    After the summit, Maj. Gen. Bernabe challenged the participants to make a written commitment to themselves and their unit about how they plan to attack harmful behaviors plaguing the Army today and how to build cohesive teams.

    “I challenge you today to make a commitment as leaders to take concrete actions to make Fort Bliss and our Army a better place, the Commander said.”



    Date Taken: 03.18.2021
    Date Posted: 03.19.2021 12:53
    Story ID: 391783
    Location: FORT BLISS, TX, US 

    Web Views: 117
    Downloads: 0