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Commandant speaks to ending sexual harassment, assault: We own this

"We own this,” said Maj. Gen. Bill Rapp, Commandant of the Army War College. “It’s on us to stop sexual harassment and assault.”

More than a mark on the calendar, the month of April is a trigger to re-address the scourge of sexual harassment and sexual assault and to readdress the need for commitment. Everyone must make a personal commitment to safeguard dignity and respect, he suggested to a formation of commanders, directors and leaders from throughout the Army War College, Dunham Army Health Clinic, and Carlisle Barracks Army Garrison.

Rapp made it clear: This is personal for him and for all.  “We have to have the courage to step up and do the right thing,” he said. “It starts with being vigilant.

“There is no such thing as a bystander to sexual assault – only a person who makes the conscious choice not to get involved.

In parallel with the ‘Not in MY squad’ mindset that makes all unit members responsible, Rapp spoke of every individual’s responsibilities to ensure that ‘Not in OUR Army’ pervades every organization, every staff, every office.

Every one of us has to live the core values of our profession, he said. Every one of us has to live the values of integrity, respect, and dignity – for that builds trust.

Rapp introduced to newcomers his advisor in sexual harassment/assault response and prevention, SARC advisor SSG Mia Gillens.  Gillens’ office is in room 220 in Anne Ely Hall. She has designed it to be an inviting and relaxing atmosphere, to encourage anyone to stop by to talk, to learn, to pick up educational material. Call her at 717.245.3086.