Pacific Army Reserve Soldiers ‘Got your Back’ with SHARP

| August 14, 2015 | 0 Comments
Sylvia Moreno, 9th MSC SHARP program manager and SARC, speaks to the 9th MSC’s Citizen-Soldiers about the importance of "Got Your Back," Aug. 9.

Sylvia Moreno, 9th MSC SHARP program manager and SARC, speaks to the 9th MSC’s Citizen-Soldiers about the importance of “Got Your Back,” Aug. 9.

Story and photos by Capt. Debbie Eddin
9th Mission Support Command Public Affairs

 

FORT SHAFTER — 9th Mission Support Command Soldiers stepped away from their usual weekend battle assembly duties to participate in “Got Your Back” training in the assembly hall, here, Aug. 9.

This training, an extension of the Army’s Sexual Harassment/Assault Response Program (SHARP), is not for the weak and sensitive due to what some may consider harsh and inappropriate language. However, the training is designed for real-world situations.

The Army implemented more realistic SHARP “Sex Signals” training in 2011 for Soldiers during Basic Combat Training and other professional military education. “Got Your Back” is designed to make the audience more interactive and engaged. It offers Soldiers a way to intervene, act and motivate others not to be a bystander in the prevention of sexual harassment or assault.

“The real language and the real words that are being used in our ranks today makes SHARP-Logo_wthis training much more real,” said Sylvia Moreno, SHARP program manager, 9th MSC, and Sexual Assault Response Coordinator (SARC), who facilitated the training.

Moreno’s dedication to SHARP is seen through her desire to end sexual assault among the ranks in the military. Many assaults happen when there are red flags seen but no one intervenes.

“If you have a gut feeling that there is something wrong, act upon it,” emphasized Moreno.

The interaction seemed to make the audience more willing to talk about the issues.

Amber Kelly, an educator and advocate of sexual awareness and assault training for 17 years led the audience interaction and discussion with Orvie Baker Jr. who served in the military for 20 years and served as an Equal Opportunity advisor, SARC and victim advocate.

“We are very close to that tipping point of cultural change. People are more understanding about the issues and are willing to talk about it,” said Kelly.

Baker believes his military background allows him to see the transition from the traditional SHARP training to the current “in-your-face” interactive training that has more “sticking power” for the Soldiers.

“Soldiers are listening, if they are not talking,” Baker said.

This training allows Soldiers to feel comfortable talking about how they felt and what they learned during the 90-minute session.

The training emphasized that sexual assault prevention is everyone’s business and that service members cannot be bystanders. The military acronym for the program, I.A.M. (Intervene, Act and Motivate), focuses on encouraging others to reduce and prevent sexual assault.

The Army’s efforts are very much an “all-hands-on-deck” approach, training members at all levels of the organization to directly intervene to stop incidents of sexual harassment and assault from occurring anywhere.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Category: News, SHARP

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *