94th AAMDC stands down, builds SHARP awareness

| June 21, 2013 | 0 Comments
Pvt. 1st Class Lisa Novak (left), paralegal, and Pvt. 1st Class Ronnie McNulty, HR specialist, 94th AAMDC, perform a skit. (Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Karry James, 94th Army Air and Missile Defense Command Public Affairs)

Pvt. 1st Class Lisa Novak (left), paralegal, and Pvt. 1st Class Ronnie McNulty, HR specialist, 94th AAMDC, perform a skit. (Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Karry James, 94th Army Air and Missile Defense Command Public Affairs)

Story and photo by
Sgt. 1st Class Karry James
94th Army Air and Missile Defense Command
Public Affairs

To ensure that leaders and every member of a family clearly understand that they are accountable for fostering a climate where sexist behaviors, sexual harassment and sexual assault are not tolerated, condoned or ignored, the 94th Army Air and Missile Defense Command conducted sexual harassment and assault response and prevention (SHARP) standdown day, June 13.

“Don’t be afraid of reporting sexual assault or sexual harassment in this command because action will be taken,” said Brig. Gen. Daniel Karbler, commander, 94th AAMDC. “We don’t mess around. This is serious business.”

With SHARP, dignity, trust and respect are core values that define how we treat one another.

SHARP daylong training included discussions on the profession of arms, warrior ethos, Army values and suicide, and how these topics applied to preventing sexual assault and harassment.

Maj. Wayne Kinney, 94th AAMDC human resources planner and sexual assault response coordinator, planned and led the event.

Maj. Wayne Kinney, human resources planner and sexual assault response coordinator, 94th Army Air and Missle Defense Command, explains what some victims of sexual assault or harassment contemplating suicide might try to use to escape the emotional pain during the unit’s sexual assault and sexual harassment prevention stand-down day, here, June 13. The props he brought in to show the audience included a noose, bottles of various pills and a plastic garbage bag. (Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Karry James, 94th Army Air and Missle Defense Command Public Affairs)

Maj. Wayne Kinney, human resources planner and sexual assault response coordinator, 94th Army Air and Missle Defense Command, explains what some victims of sexual assault or harassment contemplating suicide might try to use to escape the emotional pain during the unit’s sexual assault and sexual harassment prevention stand-down day, here, June 13. The props he brought in to show the audience included a noose, bottles of various pills and a plastic garbage bag. (Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Karry James, 94th Army Air and Missle Defense Command Public Affairs)

“The commanding general started the ball in motion on May 23, when he conducted his leader engagement in the courtyard of our headquarters,” Kinney said. “The Soldiers know trust starts at the top, and it started with Brig. Gen. Karbler.”

Victims of past sexual assaults volunteered to tell their stories to fellow troops and to answer audience questions.

Pvt. 1st Class Lisa Novak, 94th AAMDC paralegal specialist, explained why she came forward to tell her experience after she was attacked by a Soldier from another unit, in the barracks, not long after she arrived to the 94th AAMDC.

“I just wanted to make sure that everyone knew that when you actually speak up, action will be taken by our command,” Novak said. “I really think a lot of people will take what they heard here today home with them because of the high interaction rate between the participants and the audience through the discussions and skits.”

The skits were written out and planned by a volunteer group of Soldiers. Scenarios were played out in the skits that, in reality, could lead to sexual harassment or assault. After each skit, the audience was asked to participate by offering recommendations on how to avoid a negative outcome. The volunteers then acted out the recommendations followed by further discussion.

“Instead of pulling Soldiers out of the audience to act out a script, we formed a focus group where we all contemplated on different scenarios where we discussed, ‘Well, what if this happened, or that, or maybe this,’” said Pvt. 1st Class Kia Mullins, intelligence analyst and the lead producer of the skits. “I think our skits pulled in the audience and got them thinking.”

“The training was much different than what we have been having in the past. It was interesting to be able to have a question session in person with people who have experienced sexual assault, instead of just watching someone talk about it on a video,” said Sgt. Kimberly Beunavista-Bowens, mechanic and motor pool clerk.

Another audience member, Spc. Joseph Paulino-Wood, sensor manager, said, “I found it relevant because a lot of people were uneducated on the fact that our command is already doing the proper thing and has always taken sexual assault seriously. Now they know for sure they can come to their chain of command if they are ever sexually harassed or sexually assaulted and be taken care of.”

“The training encouraged discussion and enabled education on preventative measures, which is much better than trying to fix it and triage the victim after the fact.” said Capt. Robert Gaddy, staff judge advocate.

According to Kinney, the 94th AAMDC currently has not had any reported sexual assault or harassment cases where the perpetrator was a Soldier from the command.

 

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Category: News, Training

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