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    509th SSB: Achieving Innovative SHARP Training through Immersion

    509th SSB: Achieving Innovative SHARP Training through Immersion

    Photo By Candy C Knight | The 509th Strategic Signal Battalion Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention...... read more read more



    Courtesy Story

    2d Theater Signal Brigade

    Story by U.S. Army Maj. Andrew Chisholm
    509th Strategic Signal Battalion

    VICENZA, Italy — Leaders within the 509th Strategic Signal Battalion combined innovative and immersive training elements during recent unit annual Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention (SHARP) challenge, emphasizing the importance of SHARP in professional workplaces and personal lives.

    The FY23 SHARP Challenge provides Department of the Army Civilians and Service Members an annual training that serves as the crux to all the SHARP training occurring throughout the year.

    During this year’s challenge, the 509th SSB’s SHARP team decided to pursue an innovative approach over a more traditional classroom style via immersion into live scenarios.

    The training live scenarios and scenes were scripted in a role player setting around the seven SHARP Training Modules:

    1. Prevention
    2. Bystander Intervention
    3. Sexual Assault
    4. Sexual Harassment
    5. Healthy Boundary, Consent
    6. Sexual Assault Medical Forensic Examiner/ Sexual Assault Care Coordinator, Sexual Assault Forensic Exam Kit
    7. Retaliation

    The SHARP training modules were each demonstrated through a live vignette with battalion Soldiers and NCOs playing the actors in each module’s scenario. The battalion trainees were broken down into groups of four personnel to maximize scenario interaction and prevent elements of groupthink from disrupting the interactive and immersive modules.

    The 509th SSB SHARP Team, Sgt. 1st Class Herman Motcheka, Staff Sgt. Jessica Ona Horta, and Staff Sgt. Marlonbrandon Arellano, expertly led each training team through the 60-minute training sessions that focused on trainee choice and consequence.

    During one training event occurring at a bar scene, the actors’ grappled with the pressures of social convention while weighing the choice to intervene and prevent a potential sexual assault. The results of those choices were played out and discussed after each team’s iteration to ensure all participants achieved a shared understanding of the training objectives and tenets for each module.

    The SHARP training modules discussed during the SHARP Challenge enhanced the battalion’s skills and knowledge, as well as provided an environment for sharing observations and insights in diverse small group breakdown. This new format, the first of its kind executed within the 509th SSB, also created a training climate that encourages participation and involvement at the installation level through various garrison partnerships.

    Throughout every training session, the 509th SSB SHARP Team was joined in this new training format initiative by five subject matter experts within the Vicenza Military Community Care Team professionals:

    Mr. Hill Ross, USAG-I SHARP
    Mrs. Cassie Kerney, USAG-I VA
    Mrs. Ranalli Kelli-Ann, Vicenza Health Clinic SAMFE and SAC-C
    Mrs. Emilia O’Neil, USAG-I MFLAC
    Mr. Miguel Orozco

    The VMC Care team SMEs feedback and guidance throughout the training ensured 509th SSB members understand their roles and responsibilities regarding prevention and awareness, along with response and assistance tools to sexual assault victims and survivors.

    The SHARP Challenge exemplified the FY23 SHARP training motto, “step up to step in, be an upstander not a bystander.”

    The lessons learned and the experiences gained through the innovative, immersive, and powerful training resonated with Soldiers and Civilians at all levels and has set the standard for training excellence, but more importantly directly contributed to sustaining a safe and secure work environment for all teammates.

    For more information on the DOD’s SHARP program, visit

    - Visit to learn more about the 2d Theater Signal Brigade
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    Date Taken: 03.08.2023
    Date Posted: 03.08.2023 12:26
    Story ID: 439833
    Location: VICENZA, IT 

    Web Views: 374
    Downloads: 0