HUNTER ARMY AIRFIELD, GA – The 603rd Aviation Support Battalion, 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division continues its observance of Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month with a 5k run in Hunter Army Airfield, Georgia, April 20, 2022.
SAAPM is observed each April by the Department of Defense and civilian agencies with a focus on eliminating sexual assault and harassment within the ranks.
“It was an opportunity for us to build an esprit de corps and identify that sexual assault is a problem,” Staff Sgt. Taylor Pruss, victim advocate for the 603rd ASB, 3rd CAB. “Through a show of hands, the party let us know that there are people in their lives who have been affected by sexual harassment and sexual assault. Seeing much of the formation raise their hands hopefully drives home the realization that this happens often in all of our lives and that we are all affected by it.
The race was part of a larger 3rd CAB virtual 5k challenge held April 18-22. Soldiers are encouraged to run a 5K and upload their times to the brigade’s Facebook group. The top three uploads will earn a Certificate of Achievement, Squad Coin and a goodie bag including a SHARP t-shirt.
While the challenge was planned as a virtual event, Pruss took the opportunity to host the 5K in person during PT hours.
“The Brigade SHARP team told me about the virtual 5K, asked me to participate and I was like, ‘Absolutely, I’m going to have my platoon and hopefully my company do it a day during PT. Then they asked me if I could get the whole battalion involved,” Pruss said. “It was a moment of reflection.”
The event sparked some competition with the fastest male and female finishers receiving a challenge coin from the 603rd ASB, as well as entering the contest for the brigade level prizes.
The leadership of the 603rd ASB was also able to speak with their soldiers about the importance of everyone preventing sexual assault and harassment, whether they are on duty or not.
“If we’re looking to stop or prevent sexual harassment or sexual assault in training, it’s not just about going out for the errands, it’s about taking action every day we’re at work or even during off hours,” said Lt. Col. David Jones, commanding officer of 603rd ASB, 3rd CAB. If we see something, we say something. We prevent incidents from happening and, as a team, we help react when something does happen.
Educating everyone in formation on their reporting options and who they can talk to is always a top priority for the 3rd CAB SHARP team.
“We’re really trying to reach across the training and make sure people understand what their options are and who they can talk to if they have questions,” Pruss said. “It’s about us, as a SHARP team, in front of formations and conducting practices. We just try to get out there and have our faces recognized so they know who they can approach without losing any of their rights as a potential customer.
Anyone with questions or concerns about SHARP is encouraged to call the 3rd CAB SHARP Helpline (912) 255-2163 or the 3rd ID SHARP Helpline (912) 271-9958.