JOINT BASE LEWIS-McCHORD, Wash. — Sergeant Major of the Army Dan Dailey, on the job for just over a month, has created a new grassroots campaign he hopes will empower NCOs to fight sexual assault in the ranks.
The campaign is called "Not in my squad," said Dailey, a career infantryman.
It was inspired by discussions during the Army's recent Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention summit, which brought together top leaders and command teams from across the Army. Featured in the discussion was a campaign launched by cadets at West Point called Cadets Against Sexual Harassment and Assault, Dailey said.
"They've done this on their own. They've said, 'This is our problem. We need to fix it at our level, and it'll no longer be a problem,'" he said. "What better than to bring that into our NCO corps?"
"Not in my squad" puts "first-line leaders" directly into the fight against sexual assault and sexual harassment, an issue that is among the top priorities for senior Army leaders.
"It's the ownership of more than SHARP, too," Dailey said. "A soldier says, 'These are my soldiers. Nobody messes with my soldiers. I take that personally. It's my responsibility to ensure every facet of their lives is taken care of."
Dailey discussed the campaign during his visit this week to Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington. It was his first troop visit since being sworn in as the Army's top enlisted soldier.
One of his first stops on the two-day visit was the installation's SHARP Resource Center, a first of its kind in the Army. The center consolidates all of the services available to victims of sexual assault, giving them a one-stop shop for resources and services. The center brings together personnel from the SHARP program, behavioral health, Criminal Investigation Command and the Staff Judge Advocate.
"From the Army perspective, this is the model of what right looks like," Dailey told the staff at the center. "Your hard work is being noticed. But we are by no means anywhere close to completing the mission. It's not a sprint. It's not a marathon. It's a marathon without a finish line. But the good news is we're not alone in this."
When Dailey shared his vision for "Not in my squad," he said he wanted a "bottom-up approach."
"We've got to empower young NCOs," he said. "We rely on them in combat ... [and] we've got to trust them with this. Our NCOs can do this. We just need to empower them."
Michelle Tan is the editor of Army Times and Air Force Times. She has covered the military for Military Times since 2005, and has embedded with U.S. troops in Iraq, Afghanistan, Kuwait, Haiti, Gabon and the Horn of Africa.