March 7 kicked off the Not in my Squad three day training workshop. This workshop kicks off Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month. The Army created a new initiative to rid the ranks of sexual assault and harassment by giving responsibility for zero tolerance to first-line squad leaders.
The purpose of NIMS is to help noncommissioned officers take responsibility of and address, challenges that the military faces. The mission is to focus on developing cohesive teams through mutual trust, shared understanding and purpose.
“You as a leader are responsible for what happens in your unit. That is why this training is important. To stop any problem or prevent it, it start at the head of the operation and works its way down,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Michael A. Grinston, U.S. Army Forces Command.
“As a squad leader, you should be deciding what should or should not happen in my squad. I challenge all my leaders to think of ways to make things in your unit better. Strength is in numbers, when you sexual assault someone that does not make the unit any stronger. We must protect each other in order to become one,” said Grinston.
During the three day workshop, NCO’s discussed topics of identity, climate and culture. With identity, the focus what is the squad leader’s role is in building. Climate entails how squad leaders build and maintain positive units; culture refers to leaders embedding and reinforcing their ideas to build an Army with dignity, respect, inclusion, and trust.
With training, NCO’s will help better Soldiers to be a cohesive team, accomplish the mission in the right way, while striving for excellence, and persevering through adversity, challenge and setback. In order to accomplish this mission, Soldiers require inspiration, motivation and committed leadership.
The workshop included breakfasts, leadership courses and a dinner. From the workshop, Soldiers are expected to take away information on how squad leaders develop recommendations to improve their units and to bring awareness to sexual assault in the military.