|Biography||Message||Policies||NYNG Chain of Command|
When it comes to the issue of sexual assault and sexual harassment the policy of the New York Army and Air National Guard is clear: sexual assault and sexual harassment are not tolerated. Soldiers and Airmen who violate our standards will be disciplined. Sexual harassment and sexual assault undercut the discipline and readiness of our force. When Soldiers and Airman don’t feel safe coming to drill or training because of the way another member of their unit acts, or talks; it undermines unit cohesion and degrades readiness. Leaders at all levels will not tolerate this behavior.
Sexual Assault is a crime. Intentional sexual contact is characterized by use of force, physical threat, abuse of authority, or when the victim does not or cannot consent. Sexual assault includes rape, non-consensual sodomy , and unwanted and inappropriate sexual contact, or attempts to commits these acts. Sexual assault can occur without regard to gender, spousal relationship, or age of victim.
Sexual harassment is a form of gender discrimination that involves unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature. Sexual harassment is especially destructive when a superior officer or NCO implies that a Soldier or Airmans job is at risk if they reject the harasser.
Its obvious why this is wrong on so many levels. As members of the National Guard we are all members of a team and team mates respect each other and treat each other with dignity and respect. If you know sexual misconduct is occurring in your unit you must stop it and report it so the proper legal actions can be taken. Sexual assault is a crime under state law as well as the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Heres my rule of thumb: When you hear somebody saying something to another Soldier or Airman, think about whether you would want those words directed at your child, your parent, or your spouse.
And when you hear those words which you know shouldnt be said, do something about it. Leaders must make on the spot corrections. Peers must speak up to peers. Leaders are responsible for establishing a command climate where safety is promoted. Keeping sexually charged remarks, comments, and materials out of the workplace is just one way of eliminating sexual misconduct from our ranks.
You have heard me say before that we are an organization of standards and discipline. It is what sets the military apart from other organizations. This applies to our personal behavior with others and the words we use just as it does anything else we do.
In our Army National Guard units we will be spending additional time conducting Sexual Harassment/ Assault Prevention and Response Program (SHARP) training to reinforce expectations and ensure standards are understood. Each Soldier will spend 3.5 hours annually reenergizing their commitment to treating each other with respect and ensuring they can recognize assault and harassment and use intervention and prevention to stop it cold.
To help commanders and Soldiers do the right thing we are aggressively training SHARP coordinators at the Brigade and Battalion level. This 80-hour course prepares Soldiers to help other Soldiers handle incident reports in the proper way and provide advice to commanders.
There are resources available if you believe you are a victim of sexual assault, harassment, or you want to know how you can help another Soldier or Airman.
The New York National Guard Joint Force Headquarter Sexual Assault Response Coordinator (JFHQ-SARC) CW2 Heather Langley can be reached at 518-339-7586 or 518-786-4733. The Department of Defense Safe Helpline can be contacted at 877-995-5247 any time of day or night.
Other valuable information can be found at the National Guard Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program website http://jointservicessupport.org/SAPR. Remember the New York National Guard is a team and that team is bound together by standards and discipline and respect for each other.