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May 2022 Articles

Army Announces Initiatives to Improve Quality of Life for Soldiers in Alaska

05/31/2022
After recent visits to the state, Army senior leaders are announcing significant actions to improve the quality of life of Soldiers in Alaska by bolstering behavioral health resources and adding new options for health, fitness, and recreation in a region of strategic importance to the nation’s defense.

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A Father’s Resilience Journey

05/31/2022
Lt. Col. Jacob Cool wants to share his story of resilience with the anticipation to help someone else who may be struggling to work past a traumatic experience. He developed three key reflections from his own grief journey which he believes can translate to anyone at risk of depression or death by suicide.

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Review Board Gives Vets Another Chance to Upgrade Discharge Characterization

05/31/2022
Veterans who left the military after Dec. 20, 2019 with a discharge that's less than honorable will now have the opportunity to appeal that discharge characterization via the Discharge Appeal Review Board and have their military record changed.

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Austin Says DOD Must Increase Efforts to Destigmatize Mental Health Care

05/29/2022
Both the White House and the Defense Department, said Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III, have made taking care of military Families a priority. Included in that "sacred obligation," he said, is an increased commitment to providing support to Families who have lost a service member and destigmatizing mental health care.

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New RAPID Program Fights Silent Battles Across the Army

05/25/2022
The United States Army Intelligence Center of Excellence and Fort Huachuca, Ariz. are taking on the tough topics like equal opportunity struggles, sexual harassment, sexual assault, and death by suicide, through a new group of Soldier ambassadors. The Resilience, Awareness, Prevention, Inclusion, and Diversity (RAPID) program aims to make impacts on Army formations through bystander intervention techniques and strengthening units to ultimately help eliminate harmful behaviors.

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Mental Health Awareness Month Highlights Resources Available for Those in Need

05/20/2022
May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and it comes at a time when active-duty and Veteran death by suicides are at alarming levels. The U.S. Army, and the U.S. Army Sustainment Command are making enormous efforts to help Soldiers, Civilians and their Families be aware of mental health problems and offer support and services to those who need them.

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DOD Announces Suicide Prevention and Response Independent Review Committee Membership, Charter, and Projected Site Visit Schedule

05/17/2022
The Department of Defense has announced the membership, charter, and projected site visit schedule for the Suicide Prevention and Response Independent Review Committee (SPRIRC), which was established by Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III on March 22, 2022. The SPRIRC will be led by Dr. Gayle Iwamasa, a leading expert in mental health from the Department of Veterans Affairs. She will be joined by committee members with backgrounds and experiences collectively representing the public health approach to suicide prevention, clinical services for mental health, suicide epidemiology, the overlap between sexual assault and suicide behavior, and lethal means safety. They will be supported by special consultants who will add critical perspectives in the areas of officer and enlisted leadership, the needs and perspectives of our military Families, and the role of chaplains in suicide prevention.

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Army Victim Advocates Integrate Art into Education Program

05/17/2022
Army leaders are implementing innovative, research-based instructional strategies in their efforts to raise awareness of and prevent sexual assault. One example: 266th Quartermaster Battalion Victim Advocates at Fort Lee, Va. recently came together and organized an art competition to underscore the importance of the Army’s Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention program.

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SHARP Victim Advocate of the Year Recognized for Survivor Advocacy

05/17/2022
Staff Sgt. Betsy Upton, Fort Jackson Medical Department Activity, Moncrief Army Health Clinic, has been selected as the 2021 Victim Advocate of the Year within the Army’s SHARP Program. She was recognized for providing quality support and advocacy to sexual assault and sexual harassment victims and specialized training and education to more than 700 professional victim advocates, commanders, Soldiers, and responders.

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Army Nominates Candidate for SAPRO Promoting Excellence in Prevention Award

05/17/2022
The Department of the Army has selected Stacey Rosenberg, U.S. Military Academy, as the nominee for the 2022 DOD SAPRO, Promoting Excellence in Prevention Award. Rosenberg serves as West Point’s SHARP Assistant Program Manager/ Prevention Specialist. Rosenberg was recognized for developing an education course for Cadet-Peer Leaders titled “Prevention Skills 101”, or PS101. The course is a 40-hour, week-long leadership training and discussion on a variety of sensitive topics in support of sexual assault prevention and other violence prevention efforts.

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Army Nominates for the 2021 DOD Liz Blanc Exceptional SARC of the Year Award

05/17/2022
Headquarters, Army selected Sgt. 1st Class Brandy Jackson-Frazer, U. S. Army North Atlantic Treaty Organization Brigade, as the nominee for the 2021 DOD Liz Blanc Exceptional SARC of the Year Award. Jackson-Frazer was recognized for exceptional service in victim assistance and prevention of sexual harassment and sexual assault. With responsibilities spanning 37 locations, Jackson-Frazer provided services through a vast network that included collaboration with 20 partnering nations to provide a multifaceted responsive plan of action. By working with internal and inter-agency networks and NATO resources that are closer to geographically separated units, her plan of action for sexual assault first responders delivered uninterrupted service.

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Fort Hood’s Novel People First Center Officially Opens Doors

05/13/2022
The III Armored Corps and Fort Hood, Texas People First Center officially opened its doors during a ribbon-cutting ceremony amid gathered leaders, Soldiers, and community members. The People First Center’s forward-looking approach to leader and Soldier development revolves around preventing harmful behaviors before they happen. Experts in the fields of Family advocacy, equal opportunity, resiliency, spiritual readiness, substance abuse, sexual harassment and sexual assault prevention, and suicide are all housed at the center.

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New SHARP Course Trains Soldiers to be Liaisons

05/13/2022
Soldiers with the 42nd Military Police Brigade participated in the newly established Sexual Harassment Assault Response and Prevention (SHARP) Protection Liaison Team training course. The course provides a vital link between Soldiers and appropriate resources. Upon completion, students will serve as liaisons between victims of sexual assault and SHARP representatives. These Soldiers became experts on bystander intervention and what resources are available to victims of sexual harassment and sexual assault, participating in discussions about the relationship between SHARP and the Army Values.

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SHARP Presentation Gets Soldiers to Open Up About Sexual Violence

05/09/2022
Sgt. 1st Class Kelly Simon is not afraid to talk about sexual assault. The challenge, however, has been to get others to speak up, which is what brought her to Fort Drum, N.Y. for a discussion on Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention with 10th Mountain Division (LI) Soldiers from the 2nd Brigade Combat Team. As a sexual assault survivor and someone who served as a victim advocate for several years, Simon said the presentation was not about her, but what Soldiers had to say. She shared details about her life and Army career, all the while relentlessly persuading her audience to talk and ask questions.

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Army Health Expert Shares Mental Health Resources Available to Soldiers, Families

05/09/2022
May marks Mental Health Awareness Month, and one Army health expert shared the many different ways Soldiers and their Families can find help when they need it. Ireland Army Health Clinic Department of Behavioral Health Chief Laura Johnson explains Army resources for mental health treatment, including the Army Wellness Center, Chaplain services, and Military OneSource. Johnson urged not only service members to take advantage of the many mental health resources available but their dependents, as well.

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Advocate, Educator on Mental Health and Suicide Delivers Message of Hope to Fort Drum Community

05/06/2022
"Hope changes everything – hope wins always,” said David Woods Bartley, a mental health advocate and suicide prevention educator, speaking to the Main Post Chapel audience at Fort Drum, N.Y. It was a message he delivered repeatedly during a weeklong series of presentations on suicide and mental illness to more than 1,200 Soldiers, Family members and civilian employees. Bartley said that the military tends to look at suicide intellectually – and that it is good at the scientific approach. However, he said that suicide is a malady of thought and feelings, and that it is time to try a different way of addressing the problem.

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Chaplains: Building a Bridge to Soldier Care, Support

05/03/2022
Chaplains play a key role tending to the spiritual well-being of Soldiers, their Families, and the greater Army community. Army chaplains must not only facilitate spiritual growth and connection across a multitude of faiths and practices, but also serve as the first line of defense in crisis intervention. Spiritual care is an important aspect of crisis intervention. Chaplains support crisis intervention by reducing the stigma associated with receiving mental health services. Also, conversations with chaplains are 100% confidential and cannot be shared with command, so Soldiers can get help, but also maintain privacy.

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Prevention Starts With Who? Understanding Our Role in SH/SA Prevention

05/03/2022
The Army's efforts to eliminate sexual assault are continuous. This means there is work to be done – by Army leaders and Soldiers – to achieve this goal. The Army has many strong, unifying values such as loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity, and personal courage that are consistent with fundamental sexual assault prevention and bystander intervention strategies. However, misplaced loyalty for battle buddies engaging in harmful behaviors can be detrimental.

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Alcohol and Bonding: Do You Feel Like You Need Alcohol to Socialize?

05/03/2022
Traditionally, a culture of drinking has been socially accepted in the military—alcohol is popular, legal, and easily available on post—and this culture can lead Soldiers to think that they must drink to bond and have fun. However, drinking alcohol to bond or manage social anxiety is an unhealthy coping strategy.

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Optimize Your Performance to Prevent Burnout

05/03/2022
The World Health Organization defines burnout as a syndrome that results from chronic workplace stress. Individuals working at any job are at risk of developing burnout. While eliminating stress from work and life seems unrealistic, Soldiers can develop habits and behaviors that help them become more resilient.

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Battery Command Wins Best Battery in the Division

05/03/2022
B Battery, 2-82 Field Artillery Regiment, commander Capt. Stewart Tice and 1st Sgt. Edwin Hernandez asked the R2 Performance Center at Fort Hood, Texas, to “unlock the true potential” of their Soldiers and unit. The results? The unit recently earned the award for Best Firing Battery in the Division after the last Artillery Table XV battery certification.

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Can the Army Help You Be a Better Parent? Yes and No

05/03/2022
Do the same beliefs that define what is expected of a Soldier translate to being a good parent? Staff Sgt. Zachery Rojas, a drill sergeant at Fort Benning, Georgia, and father of a one-year-old daughter, said his career as a Soldier has prepared him for parenthood. Soldiers are trained to support one another, especially under challenging circumstances. The loyalty you have towards your fellow Soldiers to make a unit strong is the same loyalty you can use to strengthen your Family. Do all teachings of Army life translate well into parenting? Not quite.

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