Jamil E. Gutierrez
2012 DEC 02
SHARP in the Military Work Force
Women have been sexually harassed and assaulted in the work force for years, and for many years, the US Army has been dealing with this enormous and overwhelming issue, through the help of their agency known as the Equal Opportunity Program (EOP). In the US Army regulation 600-20, Army Chief of Staff, General Raymond T Odierno, States the purpose, “This regulation prescribes the policies and responsibilities of command, which include the Well-being of the force, military discipline, and conduct, the Army Equal Opportunity (EO) Program, and the Army Sexual Assault Victim Program.“ For a long time, the Army’s EOP Equal Opportunity Program had been involved in taking care of the issues of Sexual harassment in the work force. Now the Army has instituted the SHARP Program; the Sexual Harassment / Assault Recovery and Prevention program. My research begins to ask the question; why is this program now separate from the Equal Opportunity Program, and how the Army came to the conclusion that it need to be separate from the EOP? Will it help decrease the enormous problem of sexual harassment the Army is currently undergoing? What is the current severity of the issue? I will begin my research, by explaining the Equal Opportunity Program, then provide insightful information of the SHARP program, and conclude with my findings. To understand How the SHARP program came about I need to know, what was the US Army policy on Equal Opportunity, I found out that according to Army Regulation 600-20, signed by US Army Chief of Staff, Raymond T. Odierno states, “The U.S. Army will provide EO and fair treatment for military personnel and Family members without regard to race, color, gender, religion, national origin, and provide an environment free of unlawful discrimination and offensive behavior.” Reading through this regulation, I was able to understand the responsibilities of every commander, and how this was their charge to make sure that every soldier regardless of their race, color, gender, religion, or national origin, would abide by the policies, standards, and disciplines. How does this policy affect the soldiers, and does it applies both on and off post, during duty and non-duty hours? How does this affect the morale of all soldiers and their work environment? Well it does. The US Army has written extensively on just about every issue it has dealt with since the past, so why all these problems? Why was there a need to separate the sexual harassment program the Equal Opportunity had in place? And why now call it SHARP? In an article in the USA Today, March 2008, Pauline Jelinek from the Associated Press stated “One-third of women in the military and 6 percent of men said they were sexually harassed, according to the latest Pentagon survey on the issue.” The one third percentiles is a very high statistical number; it is scary to imagine this enormous threat to female soldiers, and the six percent of the males were sexually harassed. Where do these numbers for this study come from? Well according to the Associated Press, Pauline Jelinek, “The figure for women was worse than the previous finding several years ago, but better than a similar survey taken in 1995, the Defense Department said in a report Friday. The Defense Manpower Data Center said it compiled the data from a survey of 24,000 people in 2006.” I have been in the US Army for twenty two years, and I have seen dramatically changes the Army has been going through, and in this particular case the Army has always had to deal with this enormous issue, now more than ever they need to do something about the severity and gravity of this current situation. It has always been identified as an issue of the lower enlisted and lower officer ranks, and for a long time, the higher officers kept preaching to the choir. The Generals were always coming up with ways to end this issue, and...
Bibliography: Odierno, Raymond T. “Army Command Policy” US Army regulation 600-20 (18 Mar. 2008)
Jelinek, Pauline. "Pentagon Reports Increase in Harassment." USA Today. Associated Press,
14 Mar. 2008. Web.
Biesecker, Michael. "1-star’s Defense Team Aims to Discredit Accuser." Army Times.
Army Times. Associated Press, 08 Nov. 2012. Web.
Montgomery, Nancy. "Former 173rd Commander Handed Reprimand, $300,000 Fine."
Stars and Stripes. N.p., 14 June 2012. Web. 01 Dec. 2012. .
Cuningham, Henry. "A Mission for Justice." The Fayetteville Observer (2012): n. pag 1
US Army. U.S. Army Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program. US Army Regulation
350-1, Oct. 2011. Web. 01 Dec. 2012. .
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