SHARP summit ‘rises to the challenge’

| August 15, 2017 | 0 Comments

Nancy Rice, USARPAC SHARP Program Manager and director of the Rising to the Challenge Summit, welcomes SHARP Soldiers to the summit Aug 7 at the Ford Island Conference Center, Hawaii. The week-long summit provided education, training, and allowed SHARP professionals to share ideas and best practices with each other. (Photo by Russell Dodson, U.S. Army-Pacific Public Affairs)

Staff Sgt. Justin Silvers and Russell Dodson
U.S. Army Pacific-Public Affairs

HONOLULU — U.S. Army-Pacific held a weeklong Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention, or SHARP, training summit at the Ford Island Conference Center, Aug. 7-11.

The training summit theme, “Rising to the Challenge,” brought more than 90 personnel from across the Pacific region together to educate, train and strengthen partnerships in USARPAC; the Department of Defense; Headquarters, Department of the Army SHARP; and fellow services.

Nancy Rice, the organizer for the event and USARPAC SHARP program manager, said the summit’s theme was two-fold.

“The theme ‘Rising to the Challenge’ is an ‘inspirational call to action’ to our USARPAC SHARP personnel to motivate them as they continue to meet the ever changing and challenging demands of our program,” said Rice. “It also summarizes the USARPAC SHARP mission and the selfless dedication our SHARP personnel continue to display each and every day.”

The importance of the summit was underscored by the multitude of generals who spoke during the summit, with Brig. Gen. Ronald Clark, USARPAC chief of staff, providing the opening remarks.

Navy Capt. Roy Nafarrete, special staff officer with Pacific fleet, discusses preventing destructive behaviors Aug. 11 at Ford Island Conference Center, Hawaii. The week-long summit provided education, training, and allowed SHARP professionals to share ideas and best practices with each other. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Justin Silvers, U.S. Army-Pacific Public Affairs)

“You are going to have two opportunities this week to gain expert knowledge,” said Clark. “Educate. We need you to be active, agile and adaptive as you receive information from your SHARP professionals. We are also going to do some training and look at issues we know we have and ways to solve them.”

Clark also highlighted the Army’s No. 1 focus during his statement.

“What you do as SHARP personnel, especially as sexual assault response coordinators (SARC) and victim advocates, is really about readiness,” said Clark. “Readiness is our No. 1 priority.”

During the training, Soldiers participated in focus groups, received specialized training and shared lessons learned.

Sgt. 1st Class Tiffany Smith, lead SARC with U.S. Army Japan (Honshu), believed the conference was valuable, noting its face-to-face interaction helped Soldiers share ideas.

“It’s been great to be with a lot of different SHARP professionals to bounce ideas off each other,” said Smith. “We got together in small groups and talked about what do we do on a day-to-day basis and shared ideas among each other”

While Smith enjoyed the face-to-face interaction, she was not alone. Staff Sgt. Marc Skilinski, SHARP noncommissioned officer in charge with 8th Army, based out of Korea, also believed the peer interaction was useful.

“The summit is beneficial because it brings the whole Pacific region together. We’re such a vast unit; it’s easier to meet in person,” said Skilinski.

Skilinski said you can make phone calls and send emails, but having a week to interact with peers in person was easier to share information.

For Skilinski, one of the most useful parts of the summit was training in Strategic Management Systems, a performance management tool available to Army organizations.

“In Korea, none of us really knew about SMS, but now we know how easy of a tool it is,” said Skilinski. “Our office can go right into the system and pull up the SHARP reports. We don’t have to contact the units, so they can concentrate on the victims, and we can take care of the paperwork.”

At the close of the summit, Sgt. Maj. Caprecia Miller, SHARP coordinator from Headquarters, Department of the Army, thanked the USARPAC team for the work they had put into organizing the event.

“We want to thank USARPAC for inviting us to this training summit event,” said Miller. “I’ve been to a lot of speaking engagements, summits and training events. This, by far, has been the best summit.”

Miller also thanked SHARP personnel for all their hard work and dedication to their mission.

“We want to thank you so much from the bottom of our heart from HQDA for all that you do on a daily basis to support the SHARP program, support the victims, support your commanders and take our program forward.”

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