Scott Gibson | Combined Arms Center Public Affairs
During the last two weeks of March, the Combined Arms Center and Fort Leavenworth will take a positive step toward eliminating the three most harmful behaviors that affect soldiers, civilians and families — racism and extremism; sexual harassment and assault; and suicide.
Beginning on March 15, CAC will designate a two-week period to concentrate on the Army Profession. During this period, every unit on Fort Leavenworth will conduct eight hours of values-based discussions led by unit leaders to address the negative impact of extremist behavior in the workforce.
These leadership discussions, directed in a Feb. 5 memorandum by Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, are the first initiative in a deliberate campaign to identify and eliminate the corrosive effects of extremist behavior in the workforce.
“Corrosive behaviors, such as extremism, and sexual harassment and assault degrade the Army’s ability to build cohesive teams and break trust with its people,” Austin said in the memorandum. “Additionally, leaders must continually work to prevent suicide among soldiers. It is the responsibility of Army leaders to identify and counter these behaviors and care for those impacted.”
Leaders will have the discretion to tailor these values-based discussions with personnel as appropriate; but at a minimum, they must discuss the following three topics: the importance of the oath of office, a description of impermissible behaviors, and procedures for reporting suspected or actual extremist behaviors in accordance with Department of Defense Instruction 1325.06 and AR 600-20, chapter 4.
“This isn’t about one day of training or blocks of instruction; this is about service in the U.S. Army being a profession,” said CAC and Fort Leavenworth Commanding General Lt. Gen. James Rainey. “We swore an oath to support and defend the country. That requires character, competence and unwavering commitment … I’m 100 percent confident we will come together as teammates to solve these problems and challenges.”
This initiative is part of a larger effort the Army and Training and Doctrine Command are executing to combat corrosive behavior and build cohesive teams in a culture of respect, trust and discipline. The goal for these discussions is to equip personnel with tools and knowledge to identify and report indicators and behaviors associated with extremism, sexual harassment and assault, and suicide, and help eliminate these behaviors.