An Army officer has won an award for superior leadership of a high-visibility program at the National Training Center that is part of an Army-wide campaign, Feb. 3.
Lieutenant Col. Heather Levy was selected as the Sexual Assault Response Coordinator of 2014 for United States Army Forces Command, which is the higher headquarters of the NTC. Levy was selected above six other skilled professionals submitted for the award. She will move on to contend for the Department of the Army Exceptional Sexual Assault Coordinator Award in April.
The Army’s Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention program exists so the Army can prevent sexual harassment and sexual assaults before they occur. The goal is to eliminate sexual harassment and and sexual assaults by creating a climate that respects the dignity of every member of the Army family. Sexual harassment and sexual assault violate everything the U.S. Army stands for including Army Values and Warrior Ethos.
Levy attributes the local program’s success to a culmination of contributions made by the command teams, personnel that work in the SHARP arena, and the use of technology to engage Soldiers and Families on Fort Irwin. “I think one of the things that contributed to our success is that our Web presence is strong compared to many other posts,” Levy said. “Other posts will have their hotline number, but no other information supporting the program.”
In the past few years the installation’s SHARP program has gone through a transition. Most notably the program went through a structural change that moved it from Army Community Services to Levy, giving the program senior leadership direction.
Levy sees the future of the installation’s SHARP program’s point of concentration focusing more on leaders. In the near future, there will be a four-hour block of training included in the commander’s/first sargeants course, more leadership professional development, and a resiliency week with executive-level training to enable commanders and senior NCOs.
“Every year Soldiers and [Department of the Army] civilians are required to conduct SHARP training,” Levy said. “What I’m trying to do is make that training personable and more relevant.”
The SHARP office conducted the Clothesline Project in conjunction with a One Billion Rising Run & Hero Work Out of the Day on Feb. 15, when approximately 54 community members showed their support for survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence. During the event, t-shirts were displayed with messages of hope and support. The event created awareness with the local community, but had an impact as far as Napa, Calif. Photos of the event were posted to the NTC Facebook page.
Levy, along with the commanding general of the National Training Center, Maj. Gen. Ted Martin, and Garrison Commander Col. Jon Braga summed up the month’s sexual harassment assault response and prevention activities with an address to the community that can be heard at www.dvidshub.net/unit/FIRW-PAO.