GREAT LAKES (NNS) -- Training Support Center (TSC) Great Lakes announced the completion of a successful visit by the Director of Personnel Readiness and Community Support, Dec. 15.
Rear Adm. Martha Herb was provided with a glimpse of bystander intervention and sexual assault training, along with living environments within the TSC Great Lakes' barracks facilities during a recent visit.
Herb attended several meetings and briefings aboard Naval Station (NS) Great Lakes prior to arriving at TSC Indoctrination facility to take in a Bystander Intervention (BI) training class.
"Educating students about sexual assault and how to prevent it is something we need to do," said Kim Reese, NS Great Lakes Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR) Training and Prevention coordinator. "The more people know, the better prepared they are to help."
The BI program falls under the Navy's SAPR program and is now in its second phase. The new curriculum, deployed in test areas throughout the Navy, is being delivered locally by TSC Navy Military Training Instructors (NMTI) and all learning site staffs during Naval Military Training (NMT) in after-hours sessions.
"It was a great opportunity to show Rear Adm. Herb what outstanding support the SAPR program has from our chain of command," said Chief Boatswain's Mate (SW/SCW) Dena Partain, TSC SAPR representative. "Any change starts at the top, and the command climate is established by the attitude of leadership."
In effect, the BI concept stresses that sexual assaults can be avoided when Sailors make an effort to take care of Sailors.
During her visit, Herb attended a luncheon with the Great Lakes Coalition of Students Against Destructive Decisions (CSADD) group made up of TSC Sailors. Part of the mission for CSADD's mission is to increase awareness of the sexual assault problem at a grass-roots level, so the use of peer mentorship is in line with the SAPR message of encouraging bystander intervention.
"CSADD members approach issues facing our Sailors with a young and innovative perspective," said Herb. "They understand their peers and are devoted to encouraging Sailors to make informed choices based on doing what's right."
Herb also visited USS Cole (BEQ 6301), where she was briefed on student assignments, watch requirements and presented with representative examples of the shared rooms.
NMTI Leading Chief Petty Officer Chief Electronics Technician (SW/AW) Justin F. Light explained how TSC, beginning with indoctrination, continues the "Sailorization" process by providing personal and professional training to each student along with naval history, financial management, physical training and SAPR training.
After a brief on the new SAPR/BI program being piloted by TSC and contractor representatives, Herb had an opportunity to sit down with a number of students and discuss the sexual assault programs.
The meeting allowed her to receive direct feedback on the effectiveness of the program in reaching its target audience and how well it impacts the young Sailors themselves.
"Having individuals such as Rear Adm. Herb visit the Cole and speak with students shows Sailors that they care about their well being, and that subjects such as sexual assault are important enough to come down here and address them personally," said Light.
Herb said many Sailors provided candid comments and described both positive and negative aspects of the training.
"They all seemed to agree that facilitated groups of 25 provided the opportunity to grapple with the horrific nature of sexual violence, and the numerous myths perpetuated in society regarding sexual assault," said Herb. "Everyone agreed we must have zero tolerance for blue-on-blue assaults."
For the average Sailor, discussing sexual assault and the need for bystander intervention can be uneasy. Herb said the program gives Sailors an open forum to address, think and talk about the principle of supporting one another and knowing that they are doing the right thing.
"The Navy can put an end to sexual assault amongst our ranks, especially when Sailors demand each other to walk the talk of honor, courage and commitment," said Herb. "It's exciting to see the tremendous talent and enthusiasm in our young Sailors. Armed with specific tools to intervene when they witness sexual harassment or movement towards sexual assault, these Sailors will be instrumental in driving sexual assault from our ranks."
For information on Training Support Center Great Lakes and Learning Sites, visit: https://www.netc.navy.mil/centers/tscgl/ on the web.
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