Story by. Capt Taylor Criswell
ANSBACH, Germany—SHARP and legal teams from the 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 164th Air Defense Artillery Brigade, and the 12th Combat Aviation Brigade join forces each month to discuss systems and processes as well as updates to the Army Sexual Harassment and Response Program.
With goals of elevating unit readiness, enhancing collective knowledge, building confidence in all sides of the process and sharing ideas, the SHARP ‘lunch and learn’ is an investment in people and the SHARP program.
“he ‘lunch and learn’ was born out of a desire to help SHARP and legal professionals understand each other,” said Maj. Dan Rendleman, Officer-In-Charge for the Ansbach Law Center and brigade judge advocate for 12th Combat Aviation Brigade. “It is a chance for us to come together and hear the different perspectives that make the SHARP program work. “
“We all know how hugely important the SHARP program is, but something being important doesn’t make it easier,” he continued. “It can be fairly confusing and it is easy for well-meaning individuals to come to different conclusions about what needs to be done or when or how or by whom it needs to be done.”
The regular face-to-face interaction fosters honest dialogue among the different units and allows everyone learn from each other’s experiences.
“The monthly ‘lunch and learn’ serves as a way to network, build cohesion and sharpen the skills of all involved,” explained Mrs. Michelle Knight, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade victim advocate. “All of this with a hope of building a better program that provides the best services to all victims.”
“It’s incredibly important that legal and SHARP professionals get together informally like this,” said Capt. Will Gribble, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade judge advocate. “It helps us all stay up-to-date on changes in law or policy, but more importantly, it lets us identify and share best practices. We have an awesome opportunity while deployed to learn and share best practices and experiences from a wide range of units across the Army and take them back to Fort Hood (Now designated Fort Cavazos) when we redeploy.”
Topics have ranged from implementation of the new UCMJ provision for Sexual Harassment to procedural nuances of the different types of sexual harassment or assault reporting options and everything in between.
“The meetings provide a platform for SHARP and legal professionals to have open and honest dialogue about policy and procedures that encompass the SHARP Program,” said Sgt. 1st Class Tyson Rewerts, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade sexual assault response coordinator. “This collaboration provides both entities with an opportunity to gain insight and perspective on how advocacy and legal provide services to victims of Sexual Assault.”