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Effectiveness of the Army SHARP Program and Pertaining Solutions to Increase Efficiency

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Imagine ten people raise their right hand and pledge their loyalty to their country. Of those ten, three of those individuals will face social injustice. In the best-case scenario, they face unwanted sexual harassment which causes them to feel discriminated and isolated, severely decreasing efficiency. In the worst-case scenario, they experience sexual assault which traumatizes them and possibly end their careers. To prevent this, the Army implemented the Sexual Harassment/Assault Response & Prevention (SHARP) to educate and protect service members. Although SHARP is effective to a degree, sexual assault and harassment continue to persist because soldiers foster egocentric mindsets. Sexual harassment was a result of bygone era when sexism ran rampant.

Today, it is still so deeply ingrained in the culture that no one even bats an eye when hearing how someone would “tap that.” “Sexism and harassment are so common that they have become expected,” says retired COL Ellen Haring (Schulte, 2018). Sexual assault, on the other hand, is largely attributed to human’s impulsive nature enhanced through suppressants such as alcohol. “Up to 43.2 percent of active-duty military personnel indulge in binge drinking” (Murray, 2019). With lowered inhibitions, soldiers are much more likely to mistake signs of rejection and show increased aggression. To combat these problems, all personnel must be trained on how to prevent sexual harassment and assault.

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Units are required to conduct semi-annual training on the SHARP program; however, they are not given strict guidelines on how to conduct the training. This leads to the required training being ineffective as most units treat it as another task to check off in a list. In an article by Brigid Schulte (2018) on sexual harassment, a staff sergeant recalls a training session in which a senior officer made the comment, “‘So, if you saw a naked, drunk girl on the bench outside your barracks, would you hit that? You’re not supposed to. But I probably would.’” Most Army SHARP training is ineffective precisely because of this attitude. To combat this problem, the Army is taking a new approach to SHARP training. In 2018, a pilot program called Mind’s Eye II was launched.

This project aims to revamp the current style of training, opting to focus on what to do rather than what not to do. Soldiers will be trained in recognizing the preemptive signs of sexual violence and encouraged to intervene. After the test study, participants showed higher levels of empathy and trust. Although the SHARP program has improved the situation since its inception, sexual violence will persist as long as the current mindset on SHARP training remains dismissive. The Mind’s Eye II program is a step in the right direction. By cultivating future leaders who empathize with their soldiers, sexual violence will be diminished to a negligible degree.

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Effectiveness of the Army SHARP Program and Pertaining Solutions to Increase Efficiency. (2022, August 12). Edubirdie. Retrieved December 8, 2023, from
“Effectiveness of the Army SHARP Program and Pertaining Solutions to Increase Efficiency.” Edubirdie, 12 Aug. 2022,
Effectiveness of the Army SHARP Program and Pertaining Solutions to Increase Efficiency. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 8 Dec. 2023].
Effectiveness of the Army SHARP Program and Pertaining Solutions to Increase Efficiency [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Aug 12 [cited 2023 Dec 8]. Available from:
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