Task Force Iron Eagles Kick off SHARP Awareness Month while Overseas

1st Armored Division Combat Aviation Brigade
Story by Sgt. Ashton Hofmeister

Date: 04.01.2019
Posted: 04.02.2019 04:05
News ID: 316529
SHARP Awareness Month Kickoff 2019

Task Force Iron Eagles Soldiers and leaders at Bagram Airfield joined together to kick off Sexual Harassment, Assault Response Prevention Awareness Month, April 1, 2019.

The Area Support Group- Afghanistan Commander, Col. Jacob Peterson, addressed attendees of the celebration. “Here in Bagram and across Afghanistan we are committed to eliminating sexual assault and sexual harassment,” Peterson said. “The commanders and first-line leaders, jointly responsible for leading this effort. Leaders must create a command environment that encourages victims of sexual harassment and assault to report incidents without the fear of retaliation.”

ASG-A Command Sgt. Maj. Garton Francis also spoke to troops and civilians about the importance of SHARP Awareness. “For victims are not the enemy,” Francis said. “The enemy is behind the T-walls, not in our formation.”

Present at the ceremony with information to provide support regarding sexual assault and sexual harassment, were Behavioral Health specialists and the Brigade Chaplain and Chaplain’s assistant. The CAB’s own SHARP and Sexual Assault Response Coordinator, Master Sgt. Leetha Gutierrez encouraged attendance to the ceremony as an effort to help the SHARP Program to achieve culture change for the better.

“As a SARC, I have a responsibility to everyone in my unit in regards to sexual harassment and sexual assault incidents. I have a responsibility to ensure overall management of sexual assault awareness, prevention, training and victim advocacy,” Gutierrez said. “Additionally, I am responsible for the safety and treatment of all who seek out my services. I am happy to say serving as a SARC for six years has taught me to continue to be a servant leader.”

During the presentation Peterson and Francis presented the Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month Proclamation of April 2019. An excerpt of the proclamation read, “The American people send us their sons and daughters with the expectation that we will protect, develop and employ to fight and win our nation’s wars. We accomplish this through a ready, capable, and professional force rooted in standards and disciplined. I am personally committed to eliminating sexual assault and harassment from our formations. Sexual harassment and sexual assault is contrary to the military values and has no place in a disciplined military force. The American public looks to the military for leadership and we will not fail in that mission.” The two signed the proclamation during the ceremony as a sign of their dedication to eradicating sexual assault and sexual harassment.