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JBSA-Fort Sam Houston contracting units stand down to raise awareness about sexual assault

By Daniel P. Elkins | Mission and Installation Contracting Command Public Affairs | April 18, 2019

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas —

The Army's commitment to eliminating sexual assault from its formations was the topic of a daylong stand down training event by members from contracting activities on Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston April 11 as part of Sexual Assault and Prevention Awareness Month.

The stand down day supports an annual call by Army officials as well as a declaration by JBSA leaders in support of the awareness month. This year's theme for the Army is "Shaping a culture of trust. Protecting our people protects our mission."

Participating in the training were uniformed and civilian members of the Mission and Installation Contracting Command and the Army Contracting Command's 410th Contracting Support Brigade assigned to the installation.

Shirley Herwig, the MICC Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention manager, coordinated the day's events to ensure participants received updated guidance on all matters related to SHARP and Sexual Assault and Prevention Awareness Month.

"As the Army has increased the focused on prevention, there are other actions and behaviors intended to stop incidents before they happen, such as fostering a healthy organizational climate and instilling a strong culture based upon the Army Ethic and Army Values," Herwig said. "Imparting knowledge and developing skills are essential to tailor execution to meet the unique needs of our organizations. If you see something wrong, speak up and don't be a bystander."

Events that day included an overview of sexual assault and its impact on the Army, remarks by the MICC commanding general, and the exploration of individual learning styles. In the afternoon, participants heard from joint base professionals on suicide awareness and drug and alcohol abuse.

Many of those in attendance wore the color teal and blue jeans in recognition of Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Herwig said teal is the official color for the monthly recognition and serves as an outward expression of support for sexual assault survivors and a visible protest against the myths and misconceptions surrounding the crime of sexual assault.

Brig. Gen. Bill Boruff, MICC commanding general, set the tone up front during the day of training by stressing the command commitment toward this effort.

"Instilling an environment where sexual harassment and sexual assault is not tolerated builds a culture of trust that is imperative for the Army," Boruff said. "Whether you are in a leadership role, a supervisor or a bystander, we all must do our part and implement measures to build a climate that respects and protects the dignity of every team member."