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SHARP pilot program instructors teach certification course at Eustis
The SHARP 80-hour certification course taught at Fort Eustis, Va., May 5-16, 2014, was the first class taught by graduates of the 16-week SHARP schoolhouse pilot program. The Army launched the program at Fort Belvoir in January as a means to better equip trainers, coordinators and victim advocates from across the Army. (Courtesy graphic/Released)
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SHARP pilot program instructors teach certification course at Eustis

Posted 5/19/2014   Updated 5/19/2014 Email story   Print story

    


by Staff Sgt. Katie Gar Ward
633rd Air Base Wing Public Affairs


5/19/2014 - FORT EUSTIS, Va. -- A Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention certification course was held at Fort Eustis, May 5-16, as part of the U.S. Army's qualification requirements for sexual assault response coordinators and victim advocates.

The SHARP 80-hour certification course was the first class taught by graduates of the 16-week SHARP schoolhouse pilot program. The Army launched the program at Fort Belvoir in January as a means to better equip trainers, coordinators and victim advocates from across the Army.

While the SHARP certification courses were previously taught by contractors, the pilot program now allows Soldiers to become instructors, said Sgt. 1st Class Mark Ashby, Training and Doctrine Command SHARP trainer and recent graduate of the pilot program, assigned to the 128th Aviation Brigade.

"This is the first time we've had the opportunity as a military entity to have direct impact [on the course] through teaching and practical knowledge," said Ashby. "It's a hands-on environment, and we give [students] relevant and up to date information."

Ashby and Sgt. 1st Class Manuel Martinez, TRADOC SHARP trainer and also a recent graduate of the pilot program, were the instructors for the course at Fort Eustis, which hosted 32 military and civilian students from across the Army.

"We will also begin traveling to different units to teach the course as a more cost-effective means for training," said Martinez. "This is a more advance training, and we give them the tools here so they can gain the experience in the field."

As part of the curriculum, students were briefed by installation and community services, which Ashby said gives added benefit to the students and the SHARP program as a whole.

"We receive a lot of support - it's a total community effort," he said. "In the end it's about caring, which is just another important piece of our profession."

Though the purpose of the class is focused on certification, Martinez says the course plays a crucial role in SHARP's overall mission.

"If we can prevent just one [instance of] sexual harassment or sexual assault through this training, it's a win for everyone."

For more information on the SHARP program at Fort Eustis, call 501-7052. To reach the SHARP hotline for emergencies, call 268-8967.



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