Army publishes SHARP campaign plan

| July 11, 2014 | 0 Comments
SHARP Campaign

SHARP Campaign

Lillian Boyd, Army News Service

WASHINGTON — “We must take conscious steps to understand and reduce environmental risks, identify predatory behaviors and mitigate personal vulnerabilities associated with sexual assault and harassment,” said Lt. Gen. Howard B. Bromberg, Personnel, in the opening letter of the Army’s first formal Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention (SHARP) campaign plan.

The Army saw a 50 percent increase in reports on sexual assault in fiscal year 2013 compared to fiscal year 2012, and officials believe it may be an indication of greater confidence in the Army’s response systems and chain of command.

In order to keep the momentum going, the SHARP campaign plan provides a road map of how the Army intends to synchronize actions across five lines of effort.

The SHARP efforts are in alignment with the DOD’s Sexual Assault Prevention Strategy to embed and integrate programs across the force.

SHARP Campaign

SHARP Campaign

“To change the culture, to create an Army where everyone is treated with dignity and respect, where people understand boundaries — that takes time,” said Lt. Col. Geoff Catlett, Army Personnel. “I think what we’re doing is setting the conditions to create culture change.”

The campaign emphasizes prevention as a priority out of the five SHARP objectives.
“A lot of our training is geared toward education. We get a lot of young people coming into the military who don’t necessarily have a solid foundation on understanding boundaries between people,” Catlett said. “We try to educate young men and women of what it means to live in close proximity while treating each other with dignity and respect.”

As for investigating assaults, the SHARP program assures victims that investigators and prosecutors will take their case seriously in order to hold perpetrators appropriately accountable. However, there’s more to accountability than punishing offenders.

“We are holding commanders responsible for their command climates and doing it in a way we’ve never done before,” Catlett said.

In addition to a more stringent directive on command climate assessments that includes questions on SHARP and which are administered more frequently at the company-level on up, commanders now have a 360-degree assessment tool that is used to evaluate performance.

“The Army will use these surveys and metrics to gather data and track progress for the assessment portion of the program,” Catlett said.

Catlett said he is inspired by how much SHARP means to the secretary and the chief of staff of the Army.

“They genuinely want to see an end to this horrible crime in our ranks.” Catlett said. “And I think commanders want that too. We just have to continue to educate and be constantly vigilant.”

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Category: Army News Service, Education, Leadership, News, Safety, SHARP, Training

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