Posted BY: Anonymous Army Officer
For most of the history of the Army, what would in the 21st century be known as Equal Opportunity (EO) and Sexual Harassment and Rape Prevention (SHARP) programs were sorely lacking effectiveness. Soldiers could face bias, harassment, even sexual assault, with little or no real recourse. Soldiers could report the offenses, but leadership often swept accusations under the rug.
In the mid-2000s a female senior non-commissioned officer (NCO) was raped by a male officer. She would not file a complaint against the man because “nothing’s going to happen about it.” This was all too common.
Forward to the early 2010s and things began to change. The Army threatened commanders that if EO or SHARP were not properly investigated, and a blind eye was turned, their careers would be endangered. EO and SHARP complaints began to be taken seriously. Investigations occurred. Guilty perpetrators were held accountable. Accusations soared because soldiers felt more comfortable reporting. But the pendulum continued to swing away from the do-nothing of the past towards the #metoo and #trustallwomen knee-jerk reactions of the late teens where accusations equal guilt.
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It’s important to note that harassment, assault, and discrimination does still occur in the Army. But not every accusation is true. Not everyone who is found guilty has done something wrong. Many soldiers see EO and SHARP allegations being weaponized against leaders and fellow soldiers.