Soldiers from the 11th Theater Tactical Signal Brigade battled in a kickball game hosted by the brigade’s Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention program in December.
Soldiers from 57th Expeditionary Signal Battalion and 62nd Expeditionary Signal Battalion were encouraged to learn techniques that could be used to “Kick out Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment.” The techniques included topics such as communication, comradery and recognizing red flags, to name a few.
The idea was created in response to Soldier reviews on training.
“We listen to Soldiers,” Elsa Gudiel, 11th TTSB SHARP victim advocate, said. “We’re here for them so when they tell us ‘Hey, we are tired of looking at Power Point slides’ or ‘We tune the lesson out because we already know what it’s about.’ We want them to know we hear them.”
The SHARP team wanted to create an experience that the Soldiers would remember.
“We wanted to create something memorable, so when the Soldiers go to their next duty station they can share the skills they learned during training,” Gudiel said.
The kickball training wasn’t just physical activity, it included a SHARP word match and a dating-rights word search to ensure that Soldiers really got the message.
“I’m having a great time,” Spc. Walker Vose, 57th ESB said. “We’re learning about the awareness of SHARP and how we can come together as a community to fight against it.”
The adjustment in the training style appealed to Soldiers.
“Normally, SHARP classes are taught in a classroom – very vague and dry,” Vose said. “Being outside and being active put me in a mood to learn.”
In addition to fun and engagement through kickball, Soldiers learned valuable lessons in combating SHARP cases.
“The biggest take away from this whole fun event is teamwork makes the dream work,” Sgt. Cameron Walsh, co-captain of the winning team, HHC, 57th ESB, said. “We have to come together as a team to make sure that we start eliminating this threat – and that threat is SHARP.”
As with any mission, communication and cohesion are necessary in order to have a positive desired outcome and SHARP is no different.
“We’ve got to make sure that people are speaking up when they see something,” Walsh said. “What’s the worst that happens? We prevent a sexual assault?”
This was the first event of its kind for 11th TTSB under the leadership of the SHARP representative team – Elsa Gudion and Master Sgt. Doris Contreras.