To lead, you need to motivate and positively inspire others whenever called upon, striving to improve the enlisted and your peers. The military constantly hears that Non-Commissioned Officers (NCO) lead from the front and set the Standard but how can we improve and lead our Army when there is turmoil within itself. This is the reality that every soldier and leader faces when it comes to the Sexual Harassment Assault Response and Prevention (SHARP) program. The SHARP program has brought awareness to our highest and lowest ranks but despite all the briefings, classes, and PowerPoints that Army provides, sexual assault and harassment still occurs. This is due to the assumption of victim stereotypes, fear, and lack of concern.
First, we must address the assumption of victim stereotypes, sexual assault and harassment happens to both genders and should treated with equal respect and care. According to the Department of Defense (DOD) annual report on sexual assault in the Military Fiscal year 2018 “7,500 men, experienced some kind of contact or penetrative sexual assault”. More attention needs to focus on this, as every incident involving male or female victims is no less important than another but equal, to end gender biased victim stereotypes.
Secondly the fear of speaking out or being revictimize buys the silence that hurts us in the end. This can occur due to hostile work climates, lack of trust, and fear that disciplinary action will occur to the victim, which could increase the possibility of sexual harassment or assault. Following Col Don Christensen, President of Protect Our Defenders said, “they are afraid the case won’t be handled well, and they are afraid they will be retaliated against.”
Let us address the lack of concern, due to intoxication or superior rank creates a false sense of security for the perpetrator. Two of the main factors that lead personnel to think it is all right to assault another is intoxication, which impairs soldier’s judgement and having the wrong mentality when being a superior rank.
Essay must contain two references (ARs, personal interviews, peer review articles, etc.).
- Army Regulation (AR) 600-20 chapter 7&8
The SHARP program has brought awareness to our highest and lowest ranks with the overall goal to end unwanted advances of others whether verbal, nonverbal or physical to create a safe, unified workforce for the military.