DVIDS – News – 8th TSC uses unique initiative to raise SHARP awareness

The 8th Theater Sustainment Command’s Sexual Harassment and Assault Prevention Program (SHARP) remained a priority for senior leaders and junior soldiers. In support of one of Maj. Gen. David Wilson, commanding general of 8th TSC, Priorities, Sexual Assault Response Coordinators and Soldiers from 8th TSC, 8th Military Police Brigade and 130th Brigade Engineers educated Department of Defense soldiers civilians and family members through an innovative “Real Teal” play.

On March 9 and March 15-16, Soldiers showcased their acting skills at the Fort Shafter and Schofield Barrack theaters in Hawaii, where Soldiers hosted an innovative and impactful training event to raise awareness of the SHARP program and SHARP-related incidents.

As each person entered the auditorium, they were presented with a red card which could be waved when the individual saw a red flag for sexual harassment or assault-like actions during the Real Teal game.

“The goal of the Real Teal event was to provide impactful, non-traditional SHARP training outside of PowerPoint,” said Sgt. 1st Class David Ford, 8th TSC SARC.
The play exposed those in attendance to real dangers of sexual harassment and sexual assault that can occur on or off duty.

Ford said the play offered something viewers could see visually as opposed to the standard Army annual training.

“All past training has been in an office, so we decided to step away from the office and take it to the car park, to a party at someone’s house, and somewhere where a SHARP incident might occur” , Ford said. “SHARP-related incidents don’t just happen in the office.”

This scenario-based training demonstrated the difference between right and wrong and showed the audience how to handle different SHARP-related situations.
“The main goal of Real Teal was to raise awareness of different behaviors, different actions that can lead to sexual harassment and sexual assault,” Ford said. “We showed them different versions of the scenarios to make sure the soldiers understood what the law looked like.”

With more than 1,500 soldiers, DoD civilians, and family members in attendance over a two-day period, soldiers such as Sgt. 1st. Class Sherrie Wooten, 8TSC’s Chaplain’s Assistant, had positive feedback on the impactful event.

“The training was perfect, very realistic and engaging,” Wooten said. “The piece depicts an awareness of how sexual assault and harassment occurs within any organization and it opened my mind to different perspectives on how an individual views assault and sexual harassment and the impact it can have on an individual.”
Given the nature of the game, the SARCs of the 8th MP Bde., the 130th Engineer Bde. and 8th TSC were all ready to assist personnel who may have been retraumatized by the realistic event.

Ford said a handful of victims who attended the play walked out after reliving a traumatic experience; however, SARCs were readily available to assist and provide support.
After the play, Wooten noted that she reflected on the impact of the play on the victims.

“My biggest lesson was the impact it can have on victims and their struggles and whether or not they [Soldier] should report it or not,” Wooten said.
Reporting incidents related to SHARP is never easy for a victim; however, with this training, personnel know what to look for and are encouraged to report SHARP-related incidents to their unit’s SARC.

“When I first came to this unit there were a lot of cases, but with SHARP as a priority for senior leaders and soldiers, we reduced the number of cases in our training,” Ford said. “With Major General Wilson making it a priority, it trickled down to brigades and subordinate units from there.”

From senior leaders to subordinates and SARCs, the SHARP program remains a priority in all formations.

Ford noted that the effectiveness of the programs is tied to brigade commanders making SHARP education and awareness a priority within their training and that the organization has benefited from dedicated SARCs.

“SARCs have invested in the program,” Ford said. “They continue to find innovative ways to educate and make their trainings aware of the SHARP program. We have changed the SARC at some levels and the outreach has continued and continues to raise awareness of the program.
In raising awareness, command teams and SARCs continue to find innovative ways to raise awareness.

“The play was a great idea and a success,” Ford said. “We had nothing but positive feedback from the US Army Pacific program manager down to the junior soldiers, as this was not just another traditional hour-long block of instruction. via PowerPoint or other annual training, these were realistic scenarios that soldiers, civilians, and family members can encounter.

With Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month beginning April 1, SARCs under the 8th TSC remain committed to raising awareness of SHARP.

The 8th TSC is set to host another Take Back the Night event at Schofield Barracks, as well as a Safety Stand Down and Denim day to continue prevention and awareness efforts.

Date taken: 30.03.2022
Date posted: 30.03.2022 17:44
Story ID: 417520

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