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News > Commentary - CAPE: A resource for Army professionals
CAPE: A resource for Army professionals

Posted 8/17/2012   Updated 8/17/2012 Email story   Print story


Commentary by Command Sgt. Maj. Bernard Knight
USARAK command sergeant major

8/17/2012 - JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska -- As Soldiers, we are all part of the profession of arms.

Those aren't just words. Our Army values of loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity and personal courage are at the core of what makes us professionals. Without those values leadership breaks down, along with the trust and respect of the American public we serve.

Since becoming USARAK command sergeant major, I've been deeply impressed by our Soldiers' hard work, dedication and professionalism. The vast majority of you are doing the right thing and living the Army values every day.

I call on leaders at all levels to help change the mindset of the few who violate the rights and dignity of their comrades.

The Army's top leaders have set a goal to eliminate - eliminate, not just reduce - hazing, sexual harassment and sexual assault from our ranks by taking these steps:
· Raising awareness of the corrosive effects of these acts.
· Training and educating efforts to increase understanding of the Army's professional ethos and the core moral beliefs that compose it.
· Continuing ongoing efforts to enhance the Army Leader Development Program including emphasis on counseling, coaching and mentoring.
· Renewing our commitment to improving standards and discipline.

It's going to take involved leadership to put a stop to hazing, sexual harassment and sexual assault.

Leaders, talk to your Soldiers about these issues. Ask them if they feel free from such acts on duty and in their barracks. Do they know where to turn if such incidents happen?
Do they understand the difference between hazing and corrective training?

The Army has an outstanding resource to give leaders the knowledge they need to take on these problems and train and educate their Soldiers: CAPE, The Center for the Army Profession and Ethics website:

There you'll find interactive training scenarios that deal with hazing, sexual harassment and sexual assault both in deployed and garrison environments, as well as written and video training scenarios based on real case studies.

The past decade of war has sharpened our tactical and technical skills in many ways, but as an unintended consequence of that focus, we may have lost touch with some of the basics of leadership like coaching, teaching, counseling and mentoring.

It is crucial that we sharpen those skills and put them into action. Our Soldiers depend on it.

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