Do Not Forget What You’Ve Seen, Instead Alter Your Soldier Perspective
Until our culture stops promoting unwanted behavior, SHARP or sexual assault and harassment will continue to occur in the army. Every time you turn on the television or look at social media websites i. e. Facebook or apps like Instagram you are guaranteed to catch a glimpse of it. I have three young children and I can honestly tell you that even child rated movies and cartoons have subliminal messages that depict sexually intended adult themes and jokes. Our fathers or male figures and peers instruct us that liking, kissing, and dating is all okay. This is, however all okay of course but most homes and communities teach this at a young age. The media also promotes that females should walk around half naked, wearing excessively short and tight pants or show too much skin. The music videos gear us into thinking that we should do and act like this if we are to be cool and let’s face it who doesn’t want to fit in. Now, I bet you will ask yourself; okay how do world or civilian issues tie in with army issues? The answer lies right there in the question itself. Entirely!
A soldier is not born a soldier, nor can he assume the status of a soldier at least until after adolescence. Our culture promotes unwanted behavior even at the youthful age. Once your brain and character is developed, your style or customs are pretty much who you are. A soldier may have civilian friends and family with whom they will share and have shared much of their time with. Negative customs will surely travel with soldiers to the workplace. We are people before we are soldiers, but soldiers must always recognize that we are a cohesive, battle ready, team that must respect each other.
The key to keeping your battle buddies safe is learning how and when to intervene in a way that fits the situation and your comfort level. Having this knowledge in hand can give you the confidence to step in and stop the situation when something isn’t right. Stepping up can make all the difference, but it should never put your own safety at risk. If you can, have someone else go with you. An article on rain. org says “Cut off the conversation with a diversion like, “Let’s get pizza, I’m starving, ” or “This party is lame. Let’s try somewhere else. ” This is a good way to stop and intervene in a situation. Another way to overcome the issues of sharp is to educate soldiers that reporting these issues and being a bystander is okay. An article on Aerotech news’s website says “People need to understand that to be a bystander and to report things – it’s a positive thing, ” “That’s what we’re looking for, because you’re able to intervene and prevent something from, either, getting out of control, or preventing something bad from happening. ”
SHARP is the army’s program aimed at preventing sexual assault and harassment within the organization, this movement is happening at a fast pace in the Army’s professional organization. Apparently, not fast enough, however. The rest of the world is slowly catching up to the realization that this must stop now as we must acknowledge this is happening everywhere. Although According to army. mil, an article written by Terri Moon Cronk on May 2, 2017 shares statistics stating that the number of sexual assaults have dropped about half a percent from 2016 to 2017 as opposed to the year prior. Everywhere you look there is a poster, commercial, sticker, power point slides, classes etc. talking about SHARP. I believe that once everyone and I mean everyone falls on the same page and starts disciplining each other from throughout all walks of life civilian or military and protecting each other, this will end. It won’t be the plague that it has become.
In conclusion the Army’s SHARP program is an excellent approach to stop and prevent sexual assaults/harassment from occurring. The program isn’t perfect because the world including the media has a negative influence on our soldiers. We have to do our best to motivate and keep watch for our own. A famous quote Bode Miller once said is that “the best way to protect your own freedom is to watch everybody else’s back. That’s the essence of community”. I say let us then police ourselves and protect each other, hooah to victory.
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