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March 2021 Articles

MSCoE Sends: April is National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month

03/31/2021
In this letter to the force, Maj. Gen. James Bonner, the commander of the Maneuver Support Center of Excellence and Fort Leonard Wood, shares his thoughts on observing National Sexual Assault and Prevention Month (SAAPM) noting that, “As Army professionals, we are duty bound to create safe, positive environments; to report violators; to investigate and hold perpetrators accountable; and to provide professional, compassionate and comprehensive care to survivors. This means eliminating stigmas for bystander intervention and reporting; and it means preventing retaliation against those who come forward.”

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Extremism & Suicide -- Not in My Squad!

03/29/2021
Members of the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHINSEC) at Fort Benning, Georgia conducted the fourth in a series of discussions on extremism focusing on prevention of death by suicide. WHINSEC staff members and leaders from partner nations shared personal experiences and measures their countries are taking to address death by suicide.

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402nd Workforce Recognizes National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month

03/26/2021
In support of April’s Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month (SAAPM) the 402nd Army Field Support Brigade’s Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention (SHARP) program put together a calendar filled with events to increase understanding of each person’s role in preventing sexual harassment and sexual assault. Events include offering the DOD SafeHelp Room, SAAPM proclamation, and participating in “Teal Tuesdays” in support of sexual assault victims.

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People First

03/26/2021
People are the U.S. Army’s greatest strength and most valuable asset. After 20 years of war, the Army is shifting its attention back to People and addressing head-on the harmful behaviors that tear at the fabric of the force, including discrimination, extremism, sexual harassment, sexual assault, and death by suicide. This article discusses current and past efforts to address these issues.

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Shaping the Future: Junior Soldiers Address Harmful Behaviors During Solarium

03/26/2021
One hundred junior officers and enlisted Soldiers, representing a range of experiences and backgrounds throughout the active-duty, Guard, and Reserve, participated in the weeklong “people first” solarium at the U.S. Military Academy that ended March 19. Aiming to rid sexual harassment/assault, and discrimination/extremism within the Army ranks, event organizers divided personnel into small groups to address the harmful behaviors that have impacted cohesion and trust in the Army. Through a series of moderated discussions and exercises, each group concentrated on one of the three topics to share their ideas to help solve them.

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ACFT 3.0: Exploring a More Inclusive Scoring Assessment, Planks Stay

03/22/2021
The latest version of the Army Combat Fitness Test, or ACFT 3.0, is exploring the potential use of a performance tier program that accounts for the physiological differences between the genders, head of U.S. Army Center for Initial Military Training recently said. The new evaluation system may have five performance categories divided and updated yearly based on Soldier performance, said Maj. Gen. Lonnie G. Hibbard. Another change also adds the plank as a fully graded substitute for the leg tuck. Soldiers can now select either the leg tuck or plank test as their abdominal core assessment portion of the fitness test. The plank will be scored on a 100-point scale, like the other events.

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How Command Teams Can Support Sexual Assault Survivors

03/18/2021
Sexual Assault is a crime that often takes a long-term toll on victims, who may struggle to recover from the trauma for years, even decades. To ensure victims have the help they need after a sexual assault, support from leadership is critical. Leaders should learn about the impact of trauma and what Soldiers experience when they file a report. Unrestricted reports can give commanders better insight into the assault which can help them offer better-aligned support. Supportive and compassionate leadership is imperative to helping victims overcome their trauma from sexual assault.

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Understanding SHARP Services After a Sexual Assault

03/18/2021
The decision to report a sexual assault can be challenging for victims who are already struggling to cope with the trauma of the assault. Anxiety about reporting can be compounded by not knowing what to expect during the process. Sexual Assault Response Coordinators (SARCs) and Victim Advocates can help Soldiers understand their options as well as be a source of support to lean on. SARCs provide immediate coordination for crisis support, including helping Soldiers get medical care and preserve evidence of the assault, and follow up support like connecting them to resources for their healing and recovery such as mental health counseling.

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ARD Introduces New Outreach Materials for SHARP and Suicide Prevention Program

03/18/2021
The Army Resilience Directorate recently released new awareness and prevention materials for the Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention (SHARP) program and Suicide Prevention Program (SP2). The awareness materials, available in both print and digital format, provide information and resources for sexual assault and suicide prevention. The new SHARP materials, developed specifically for ROTC and West Point cadets, aim to help prevent sexual harassment and sexual assaults before they occur by providing information to promote a climate that respects the dignity of every member of the Army Family.

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Soldiers and Elite Athletes Cope with Similar Challenges, Says Olympic Athlete Alexi Pappas During ARD Webinar

03/18/2021
Soldiers are also athletes, and just like all athletes Soldiers need to take care of themselves both physically and mentally. “There truly is so much overlap between the world of Olympic athletics and the military: we are all elite athletes whose mission it is to push ourselves beyond our limits to achieve extraordinary goals,” Alexi Pappas, an Olympian, author, and actress, told a world-wide audience during a recent webinar hosted by the Army Resilience Directorate. Pappas shared a message of resilience and the significance of treating the brain like a body part during the webinar.

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Building Resilience Through Effective Communication

03/18/2021
Honest and effective communication is integral to building strong teams and strong leaders. Effective communication skills can help people master the art of having difficult conversations with ease and is essential for to discovering the driving factors negatively affecting Soldiers from low morale to behavioral issues, relationship breakdown, lack of motivation and even suicide risk.

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SHARP Resources for Soldiers Are Just a Click Away

03/18/2021
Army leaders have repeatedly emphasized that sexual harassment and sexual assault have no place in the Army. The Army Resilience Directorate supports this mission by providing numerous resources to Soldiers, Family members and DA Civilians on its website, www.ArmyResilience. Army.mil. From the homepage, people can choose from four different paths depending on their needs, taking the guesswork out of where to find specific information.

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USAG RP Risk Reduction Coordinator Uses Personal Experience to Help Soldiers Work Through Grief

03/16/2021
“Suicide may end their pain, but that pain transfers to surviving Family and friends.” Laura Roman, U.S. Army Garrison Rheinland-Pfalz Risk Reduction coordinator isn’t reading from a manual or syllabus. She is speaking as someone who lost a military Family member to death by suicide; her brother. Roman’s job as risk reduction coordinator is self-explanatory. She’s in charge of finding and mitigating high-risk behavior in Soldiers and garrison employees. A lot of what she does is talk about alcohol abuse, other high-risk activities, and death by suicide.

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Sisters In Arms Group Empowers Female Soldiers

03/09/2021
Sisters in Arms is an unofficial, grassroots movement that allows female Soldiers to get together in a safe environment to network, discuss important topics and (learn) how to improve the workplace. This is a vastly different approach to help connect Soldiers than the typical mandatory training. “It’s easy to think you are the only female,” said Maj. Bridgette Navejar, the 41st FAB S-1 and Sisters in Arms founder. “Sisters in Arms builds a community through non-mandatory quarterly meetings that allows ladies to get together and learn there are people they can talk to.”

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Austin Outlines His Top Three Priorities on Defense, People, Teamwork

03/05/2021
Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III has announced his top three priorities for the Defense Department: to develop the right people, priorities and purpose of mission. According to a memorandum from his office, the mission is to continue to defend the nation from enemies, foreign and domestic. "This will require aligning our priorities and capabilities to a changing and dynamic threat landscape," the secretary said in the memo. "We will do so in a way that is based on a sober assessment of our strategic needs and recognize the importance of building and sustaining a strong workforce and unity within our department, across the nation and with our allies and partners around the world."

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New NGB Task Forces Help Combat Sexual Assault, Suicide

03/05/2021
Beginning in January and expecting to last up to 180 days, the Suicide Prevention Task Force and the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Task Force will regularly meet to develop prevention strategies with “actionable items” for National Guard senior leaders to use. Comprised of psychological health professionals, medical personnel, wellness coordinators, chaplains and key senior leaders, the task forces emerged after last year’s historic support of COVID-19 response efforts and state activations for civil disturbances.

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Culture of Character Growth Will Build Readiness, Says West Point Superintendent

03/04/2021
While the U.S. Military Academy has made strides against corrosive issues like sexual assault and racism, the academy has far more work to do, its superintendent told lawmakers. Although those aims won’t happen overnight, they will be met through “a sustainable cultural change" at the academy, said Lt. Gen. Darryl A. Williams during a virtual hearing on Capitol Hill. Williams, along with the superintendents of the US. Air Force Academy and U.S. Naval Academy testified before the House Appropriations Committee’s defense subcommittee regarding the state of their academies. No topic was off the table for the trio, who addressed questions from sexual assault, suicides, how racism and extremism can plague the student body, to the growing need to combat climate change and bolster cyber capabilities.

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Commander Encourages Workforce to Utilize Garrison Programs for Life Harmony in Online Engagement Session

03/02/2021
In a livestreamed “People First” workforce engagement session, U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden leaders encouraged Soldiers, Civilians and local national employees to focus on all aspects of health and wellness. Col. Mario Washington, garrison commander, emphasized that the offices of Equal Opportunity (EO), Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) and Army's Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention (SHARP) are available to all garrison employees if they need help navigating workplace difficulties.

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Culture of Character Growth Will Build Readiness, Says West Point Superintendent

03/04/2021
While the U.S. Military Academy has made strides against corrosive issues like sexual assault and racism, the academy has far more work to do, its superintendent told lawmakers. Although those aims won’t happen overnight, they will be met through “a sustainable cultural change" at the academy, said Lt. Gen. Darryl A. Williams during a virtual hearing on Capitol Hill. Williams, along with the superintendents of the US. Air Force Academy and U.S. Naval Academy testified before the House Appropriations Committee’s defense subcommittee regarding the state of their academies. No topic was off the table for the trio, who addressed questions from sexual assault, suicides, how racism and extremism can plague the student body, to the growing need to combat climate change and bolster cyber capabilities.

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