The Army recently rolled out its Ready and Resilient Campaign, a collection of comprehensive and far-reaching programs designed to guide the Army’s efforts to build physical, emotional and psychological resilience in our Soldiers, families and civilians, and directly enhance personal and unit readiness.
This campaign brings a number of Army programs and activities under one umbrella, all aimed at preventing suicide, sexual harassment and sexual assault, bullying and hazing, substance abuse and domestic violence.
This campaign will also serve to improve methods for commanders to understand high-risk behaviors and intervene early, something I expect all leaders to do. I encourage everyone to get familiar with the various services and programs available and take advantage of them; at the end of the day being ready and resilient is all about leadership and personal responsibility.
As April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, I would like to take this opportunity to focus on Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention.
Sexual Assault is a serious problem facing the Army family; to combat this threat within our ranks U.S. Army Europe conducted a theater-wide Ready and Resilient Day focused on SHARP earlier this month.
The day reinforced our Army’s commitment to eradicating sexual harassment and sexual assault through a comprehensive program that centers on awareness and prevention; training and education; victim advocacy; and response, reporting, accountability and program assessment.
As an Army that has grown as part of the profession of arms over the past 11 years of combat, leaders and their teams at every level know how to get the mission done while caring for our fellow Soldiers on the battlefield.
Eliminating sexual harassment and assault from our ranks is no different; it is a mission that takes leadership and Soldiers who care about their buddies to accomplish this objective.
I expect leaders to stay engaged by getting to know their Soldiers individually and visiting the barracks frequently, so they may find solutions rather than simply reacting to indiscipline. I also expect leaders at every level to establish a command climate of trust and accountability; reinforce that command climate with continuous education and training; continue to conduct assessments using tools available in order for sexual harassment, sexual assault prevention and response efforts to be successful.
This issue falls in line with one of my imperatives: discipline and standards. Discipline matters — how a Soldier looks and acts in a garrison environment directly translates to their performance in combat.
I hold leaders responsible for instilling the essence of our Army values and warrior ethos into their Soldiers so they are not just words on a card, but rather a way of life.
We must be disciplined and adhere to our Army values if we are to be the nations’ trusted ambassadors to the American public, as well as our host nations here in Europe.