Michele, The Real McCoy Contributor
training at Fort McCoy to deploy in support of Operations Iraqi
Freedom and Enduring Freedom now have more than just training in the
field — they go through Prevention of Sexual Harassment (POSH)
classes as part of their MOB training, as well.
Sgt. 1st Class Claudia R. Simpson
talks with students in an Equal Opportunity Advisers Course she
was teaching at Fort McCoy. (Photo
by Tom Michele)
1st Class Claudia R. Simpson, Equal Opportunity (EO) adviser at Fort
McCoy, said, "Sexual harassment and assault affects Soldier
morale and productivity. Harassment not only affects the person but
other Soldiers around them in the work environment."
harassment and assault problems still exist in the Army, particularly
overseas and in combat theaters, the problems got worse about 2003-04,
and the Army saw a high rise in harassments and assaults. It got
severe enough that the Army created new programs to be taught,
specifically regarding harassment, sexual assaults and the complaint
procedure used when it is deemed necessary.
EO training for all Soldiers formerly was conducted semiannually. Now
it is conducted quarterly, Simpson said.
prevention of sexual harassment is not just a moral imperative,"
Simpson said, "It is a readiness issue. Military leaders must
continue to re-energize their efforts to effect a ‘No Tolerance’
policy. Sexual harassment affects unit cohesion and mission
effectiveness and violates acceptable standards of equality and fair
harassment drains our limited resources and impacts unit morale,"
Simpson continued. "It detracts from a leadership climate that
promotes individual growth and teamwork vital to combat readiness. For
these reasons, sexual harassment cannot and will not be
prevention of sexual harassment has been a long-standing goal of the
Army’s EO program, according to Simpson.
Army has made a great deal of progress toward a policy of preventing
recent years, the issue of sexual harassment has received significant
media attention in both government and private sectors.
heightened awareness has intensified national debate on causes and
harassment affects everyone.
victimizes females as well as males and can occur between same sex and
third parties," Simpson said. "It also can happen at anytime
and it is not limited to the workplace."
Opportunity advisers (EOA) are assigned to fulltime EO duty positions
at brigade or higher echelons.
are proponents for cultural change, and they act as the eyes and ears
for commanders. EOAs organize and assist with training sessions that
pertain to EO, unlawful discrimination, prevention of sexual
harassment and consideration of others programs.
are service school instructors, and they teach all unit Equal
Opportunity Leaders (EOL). Unit’s EOLs help assist EOAs at the
battalion, company, and detachment level.
has been in her new position at McCoy for about a month. She came from
a similar position at the 75th Division in Houston.
mobilizing Soldiers is our first priority," Simpson said,
"but we are, of course, also conducting training for active-duty
and reserve-component Soldiers from any and all units. Classes are two
hours in length to promote awareness for building and maintaining
sound cohesive organizations.
training for mobilizing Soldiers has been conducted since 2003, so it
is not a new thing, but it is still being highly emphasized by the
Army," Simpson said . "A healthy EO environment is a key
factor in developing readiness. Army readiness begins with people. The
Army’s advanced technology and modernization efforts would fail if
leaders lost the sincere and dynamic commitment to the total
well-being of the Army Family. Effective human relations and equal
opportunity are both moral and operational imperatives for our Army.
(Michele is a
public affairs specialist for Eagle Systems and Services Inc.,
contractor for CONUS Support Base Services.)