Soldiers stay 'SHARP' on Okinawa

Soldiers stay 'SHARP' on Okinawa

by Sgt. 1st Class Manuel Torres-Cortes, 10th Support Group (Regional)
U.S. Army

Soldiers and families take part in the annual Sexual Harassment and Assault Response and Prevention (SHARP) Stand-down day at Torii Station 16 April.

Early in the morning Sgt. 1st Class Aaron Gamez, Sexual Assault Response Coordinator (SARC) for Okinawa addresses the soldiers about the importance to educate and inform the military on sexual assault and harassment. Soldiers and family members took part in several physical fitness events like Zumba, dodgeball, volleyball and other events to start the day.

"April is the Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month, which promotes the education of military personnel on the Army's mission of achieving cultural change," Gamez said. "By providing activities that promote espirt de corps and camaraderie within the ranks, the training will be more valuable to emphasize responsibility and safety when dealing with sexual assault and harassment."

Ensuring soldiers understand every aspect of the SHARP program, is one way the unit is facilitating combat readiness, Gamez added. During the morning hours soldiers received an information brief about reporting and preventing sexual assault and harassment.

"It's not acceptable to have sexual assault and harassment in the ranks, it degrades unit readiness and trust," said Gamez. "It's everyone's responsibility and duty to prevent these types of incidents."

After the morning workout and briefings, soldiers gathered at the Camp Foster Bowling Center to participate in a friendly bowling competition.

"The unit is very engaged and proactive in ensuring soldiers at every level understands what to do and how they can help prevent and stop sexual assault and harassment in the military," said Maria Lee, victim advocate, 10th Support Group (Regional).

For more information about SHARP please visit http://www.preventsexualassault.army.mil/index.cfm

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