by Tech. Sgt. Jess Harvey
Air Force Public Affairs Agency
3/14/2012 - WASHINGTON (AFNS) -- The Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Wing Commanders' Guide was sent out to wing commanders recently and contains statistics, facts and talking points to help leaders encourage healthy conversations among their Airmen, which senior leaders say is paramount to eliminating sexual crimes in the Air Force.
"Inspiring our Airmen to be good Wingmen is not just a worthy undertaking, it is a critical mission enabling task that has hope of one day creating an Air Force without sexual assault," said Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley.
The guide gives leaders the tools necessary to enhance their leadership styles, change the force's climate and environment, inspire community leadership, empower effective victim response efforts and enforce offender accountability standards.
"America's Airmen deserve nothing less than our full devotion to eradicating the threatening behavior to their well being," said Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz. "This crime threatens our people and for that reason alone, it is intolerable and incompatible with who and what we are."
The Air Force's SAPR program also includes Sexual Assault Response Coordinator training and the bystander-intervention training programs.
Air Force leaders are focusing on community empowerment to enable Airmen to take care of fellow Airmen in eliminating sexual assault.
"Empowering Airmen to intervene when their peers are in trouble is a key component of our training," explained Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force James Roy. "We want our Airmen to understand they can make a difference by recognizing when their Wingman is at risk for making a poor decision."
Bystander intervention training was introduced in 2008 and the Air Force expects completion of this training for all Airmen by the end of June.
7/18/2012 3:05:49 PM ET Leadership is bound to check blocks to Congress saying they are attempting to mitigate the issues of sexual violence and assault. It's embarrassing that Airmen can't control their primal impulses to the degree that it makes the news every other week.
3/22/2012 8:45:39 AM ET I don't see anything in the article to say the wingman is accountable at all, though that does seem to be what these policies would result in. The training itself shines light on a problem that doesn't get the attention it deserves. I didn't complain for similarly important safeTALK, it dispelled misconceptions. This training is also useful, hand-holding or no. I think there is a tendancy to complain about ancillary/accessory training because we receive so much. A good example is the hundreds of safety briefs based on obvious stuff we get during our first terms.
3/20/2012 12:14:32 PM ET People to this day still don't understand why the USAF is laughed at so much. The rules that are made are a joke and an insult to those who are responsible people. These days you can't go to a party to enojy yourslef because now you are responsible if someone else becomes foolish. I actually feel like I was given back my honor and dignity by not re-enlisting. I'm with Me on this one. If you act like a fool you should be punished as a fool, not your buddy or random guy who just happens to be in the USAF as well. When you are off duty, you should take that opportunity to boost your own morale to be a productive airman on duty the following day NOT watching you back to make sure someone else isn't being an idiot.
Me Too, There
3/20/2012 9:40:04 AM ET As I grew up, I was taught to perceive adult behavior and childish behavior through a particular filter. That filter is accountability.Adults are accountable for the consequences of their own choices and actions.Children are protected at least in part from the consequences of their own choices and actions.When you choose to drink, you choose to accept the consequences of the decisions you make while impaired. Adults accept the consequences of their bad decisions. Children demand that somebody else protect them from those consequences. This program is designed to teach our modern Airmen to behave like children, not adults.Can't say that I'm a fan.
Old retired guy, Not the same world anymore
3/19/2012 11:34:50 AM ET I think the article and a couple comments hit the nail on the head. There is a difference between a bad decision and a crime. Getting drunk and having sex with someone is probably a bad decision. Forcing someone into having sex is a crime. Wingmen should help their friends avoid bad decisions and situations, but at the end of the day or morning people are responsible for their own decisions.
Mark C, Lackland AFB TX
3/17/2012 11:37:46 PM ET Blame it on the rain, blame it on the wingman, jeez... Are we as an Air Force so responsibly bankrupt that we no longer hold people accountable for thier own actions? What if the person making the bad decision...out ranked you?
George Smith, Outer Limits ND
3/16/2012 5:41:59 AM ET Whoa, calm down there Killer. I think you missed the point. The article is saying that if you're at a party and see someone about to make a really bad decision, you should step in and do something. This has nothing to do with entitlements or generational gaps. Because you DO have a responsibility to act if you witness a crime about to occur. And make no mistake, sexual assault IS a crime ...
JG Buzanowski, Southwest Asia
3/14/2012 6:07:05 PM ET So once again it is shown that responsibility is no longer the member's, it is the Wingman's. It is time that we show the entitlement generation that they are 100 percent responsible for themselves and the actions they take. Full ownership of the consequences should be the member committing the act. If my Wingman committed sexual assault, should I feel responsible that I didn't do enough to stop it? I remember recently an article of a SF member being charged in an Amns suicide, when will this end?