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Getting to the Left of SHARP: Lessons Learned from West Point’s Efforts to Combat Sexual Harassment and Assault

Getting to the Left of SHARP: Lessons Learned from West Point’s Efforts to Combat Sexual Harassment and Assault
Source: Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. Army War College

On July 26, 1948, President Harry Truman signed Executive Order 9981, ending the practice of segregating the military services by race. That same year, the Army allowed women to join the services on an equal basis with men. Both of these steps preceded the larger societal changes that allowed fully equal treatment of all types of American citizens in military service. Just over 2 years ago, Congress repealed the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy, allowing for gays and lesbians to openly take their place in the military. Our procedures and policies for successful gender integration have grown and evolved. The authors share five principles for leaders and commanders on the prevention of sexual harassment and assault, as well as associated “Tips” for implementation: (1) Leaders identify and break chains of circumstance; (2) Education is preferable to litigation; (3) What’s electronic is public; (4) Don’t ignore pornography; and, (5) Unit climate is the commander’s responsibility. These principles and their associated tips are not panaceas, and these recommendations are submitted for discussion and feedback.

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Senior Officer Talent Management: Fostering Institutional Adaptability

Senior Officer Talent Management: Fostering Institutional Adaptability
Source: Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. Army War College

The Army has for years been successful at creating senior leaders adept in the art and science of land combat after honing their leadership at the direct and organizational levels. While those experiences remain invaluable, undue reliance upon them to create the Army’s future institutional leaders is increasingly risky in today’s rapidly changing world. The contemporary and future operating environments demand an innovative and highly adaptive Institutional Army, capable of rapidly responding to operational demands. Incremental adjustments to current senior officer management practices will not create that adaptability. An entirely new approach is required, one that unleashes the unique potential of each person—full-career officer talent management.

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