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    8th MP Improves Unit SHARP Culture



    Story by Staff Sgt. Richard Perez 

    8th Theater Sustainment Command

    SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — The Sexual Harassment and Assault Response Prevention (SHARP) program at the 8th Military Police Brigade, 8th Theater Sustainment Command has experienced a substantial improvement in recent months. A coordinated effort, directed by the unit command and leadership team, reshaped the organization’s approach to combat incidences of SHARP related incidents within its ranks.

    The combined effort from the 8th MP Bde. command team, Sexual Assault Response Coordinators (SARCs), Soldiers, and civilians has effectively changed the unit’s culture by placing SARC professionals in more accessible roles throughout the organization. Also, an emphasis on more robust prevention training has made a significant impact on the brigade’s Soldiers. Permanent SARC positions within the unit’s two battalions, which account for hundreds of Soldiers, shifted the SHARP program focus to be proactive instead of reactive. A more aggressive approach to combating SHARP related incidents is a priority that the 8th MP Bde. formation has made their own, producing results that continue to pave the way in the fight against an issue that has faced society for centuries.

    The brigade implemented a Task Force Prevention Working Group to target the junior enlisted ranks from private to staff sergeant. This task force convenes quarterly with the brigade leadership to participate in 48-hour blocks of discussion. The working groups address issues pertaining to SHARP related concerns within their ranks and possible solutions to them that could affect positive change.

    Sgt. 1st Class Emily Tasi-Tuulaupua, 8th MP Bde. SARC, oversaw the program’s transition from a reactionary focus to one that implements preventative measures through routine lower-level and command team discussions that addresses real issues facing the unit.

    “I think the biggest thing is having their voice heard from the senior most leader in their brigade,” said Tasi-Tuulaupua. “Having that face to face and being heard from by the commander, saying that these are our issues, and essentially, we need your help. At the end of the 48-hours, they give a back brief not only to the battalion commanders but also the brigade commander and command sergeants major, so they are also getting some type of development in there.”

    Command Sgt. Maj. Nathan B. Marriam, senior enlisted advisor of the 8th MP BDE, supervised the developments of the unit SHARP program to ensure the program’s new focus resulted in positive changes throughout his unit and the U.S. Army’s fight against SHARP related incidents.

    “What’s great about our organization is that we have engaged leaders that really invest in our program and just take care of soldiers,” said Marriam. “It goes back to, we can talk all day, but what can we do? Our SARC team is right there to receive these soldiers to let them know, you are coming to an organization that our first mission is to take care of our soldiers well-being. So they see a face, number one, but number two, they see that there is leadership engaged that understand if you have an issue.”

    The issue of unit directed SHARP training, whether quarterly or annual, received special attention during discussions in a number of the working group meetings. The monotony of “death by PowerPoint” and trainings designed to “check the block” to satisfy Army SHARP training requirements were ineffective. The 8th MP Bde. SHARP team addressed training opportunities by coordinating more interactive training.

    Vignettes or stage performances, training lanes called “Escape Rooms” to test soldier’s real life problem solving abilities, and even first person testimonies from approved speakers are now incorporated in the training requirements every year.

    The 8th MP Bde. Soldiers and leaders are completely involved on matters relating to the SHARP culture in their unit. Making informed decisions to better take care of soldiers and family members in the “watchdog” formation is key in eliminating SHARP related incidents within its ranks.

    “It starts with me,” said Marriam. “We have to own it with every aspect to take care of Soldiers. That’s how we’re going to drive forward. It has to be a part of our culture, just like putting on our boots every morning.”



    Date Taken: 12.22.2021
    Date Posted: 12.23.2021 14:14
    Story ID: 411807

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