OFFUTT AIR FORCE BASE, Neb. â€“ Throughout the month of April, members of U.S. Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) showed their support for the Department of Defense’s (DoD) 11th annual Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month (SAAPM) campaign by hosting a series of events to promote the 2015 theme, “Eliminate sexual assault. Know your part. Do your part.”
U.S. Navy Adm. Cecil D. Haney, USSTRATCOM commander, emphasized in a video message the importance of building and maintaining a culture that is free of sexual assault. The video was distributed throughout the command’s headquarters staff, supporting organizations and task forces and was posted to the command’s YouTube page, .
“Sexual assault has no place in our military or this command,” Haney said. “It undermines everything we do, personally and professionally. Eliminating this unacceptable behavior requires all USSTRATCOM Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, Civilians and Contractors to remain steadfast in upholding our core values: Integrity, Innovation, Responsiveness, Precision and Perseverance.”
Eliminating sexual assault is one of DoD’s top priorities. On May 1, 2014, the department published its 2014-2016 Sexual Assault Prevention Strategy, designed to ensure leadership executes proactive and comprehensive sexual assault prevention programs. The desired end state is an atmosphere where cultural imperatives of mutual respect and trust, professional values, and team commitment are reinforced to create an environment where sexual assault is not tolerated, condoned or ignored.
U.S. Army Command Sgt. Maj. Patrick Z. Alston, USSTRATCOM senior enlisted leader, encouraged employees to focus on how strong leadership all levels and a proactive mindset can have a positive impact on this “vital issue.”
“We all have a role in combating sexual assault,” he said. “We must look after each other to ensure that everyone in the USSTRATCOM family gets help when they need it so that we, as individuals and as a command, are ready to execute our global mission 24 hours a day, seven days a week and 365 days a year.” Â
The command took its support for SAAPM on the road, literally, when more than 100 members participated in a 4-mile “Teal-Out” formation fun run around Offutt, during which many military service members and civilians demonstrated teamwork and solidarity by wearing teal-colored shirts. U.S. Marine Corps Col. Mark W. Nelson, USSTRATCOM deputy chief of staff, led the formation while military non-commissioned officers chanted cadence to ensure that the runners moved as a cohesive unit and no person was left behind. Â Â
“Participants spent part of the work day participating in a healthy outdoor activity that reinforces the value of teamwork,” Nelson said. “I was proud to see so many people show up with teal shirts to demonstrate their commitment to eliminating sexual assault once and for all.” Â
Senior leaders and command volunteers also spent several hours throughout the month greeting employees at various headquarters entrances to share information on how to obtain assistance for those in need, as well as the many available reporting options for victims. They handed out teal ribbons, which members could wear to show their support for the cause.
The Department of Defense Sexual Assault Prevention and Response public website, http://www.sapr.mil/index.php, contains DoD’s sexual assault policies, information on the 2015 prevention campaign and resources for reporting and obtaining assistance for victims of sexual assault.