JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. – The leadership of 4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division’s Raider Ready Reserve conducted a full day of Sexual Harassment and Assault Response and Prevention training in the brigade’s area, candidly engaging Soldiers across the formation about SHARP principles and Army values, June 18.
“We are changing the culture of the military starting today,” said Lt. Col. Michael Dolan, the R3 executive officer of 4th SBCT, 2nd Inf. Div., as he addressed the Raiders after the morning run and presented sexual assault and harassment as the leading issue currently facing the military.
“We, as men and women, will not accept this for our brothers and our sisters. We cannot accept this for our buddies to our left and to our right; from our superiors; to our subordinates,” Dolan said.
The SHARP program exists so the Army can prevent sexual harassment and sexual assaults before they occur. The goal is to eliminate these behaviors by creating a climate of trust and respect that protects every member of the Army Family, allowing every person to thrive and achieve their full potential.
Open and honest leader-to-Soldier discussions at the company and battalion level were enhanced by viewing “Violence & Science”, a presentation by Jackson Katz, Ph.D., from an independent Technology, Entertainment, Design conference earlier this year. A co-founder of the Mentors in Violence Prevention program, he is the director of the first worldwide domestic and sexual violence prevention program in the U.S. Marine Corps.
Prevention was stressed throughout the day as one of five pillars in the mission to combat the issue. According to the SHARP program, our core values demand that we act. It is our duty to intervene and protect our fellow Soldiers.
“I want you to think about what you can do as an individual to help [deal with] this problem,” said Capt. Jonathan Black, R3 Headquarters and Headquarters Company commander, starting a two-way conversation with his troops focusing on the pro-active approach.
A fully-engaged chain of command is critical to any solution; from thorough and professional investigations of allegations and taking appropriate action -- to holding personnel, units and organizations accountable for their behavior.
“Sexual harassment and sexual assault will not be tolerated, period. It is my number one priority,” said 1st Sgt. Shayne Charlesworth, the brigade’s R3 acting command sergeant major.
“The only way we can beat this is if everyone is behind this,” Charlesworth said.
The 4th SBCT, 2nd Inf. Div. is currently deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. The Raider Ready Reserve is organized, equipped and trained to execute rear detachment operations focused on maintaining Soldier, Family, training and equipment readiness that instill confidence in forward deployed commanders.