Leadership Ideas, Information and News

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Declaration 'turns words into action' for prevention

by Senior Airman Shawn Nickel
9th Reconnaissance Wing Public Affairs

12/19/2012 - BEALE AIR FORCE BASE, Calif.  -- Air Force's top leadership recently reiterated the service's zero-tolerance for sexual assault to stop a cycle of unprofessional behavior that is incompatible with the service's core values.

The 9th Communications Squadron at Beale Air Force Base, Calif., took the task seriously and decided to sign a declaration stating their commitment to stop sexual assault.

"We are all committed to end sexual assault, but this is our declaration to turn words into action," said Lt. Col. Susan Magaletta, 9th CS commander. "No person who should fear being assaulted when we are all teammates in this Air Force. We will stick together to bring an end to this behavior."

The idea for the declaration came from Senior Airmen Zack Most and Patricia Lendon.

The declaration which states:

As a 9th CS Airman, I pledge...
  • To not be a passive bystander
  • To have the courage to confront the situation
  • To remember my core values and that I always represent the Air Force
  • To recognize that consent cannot be given while someone is under the influence
  • To understand that "no" always means "no"
  • To accept the boundaries of my fellow Airmen
  • To respect all individuals
More than 50 communications Airmen have signed the declaration since Nov. 13. The document is poster size and will rotate throughout the squadron to remain visible to all Airmen.

"We thought this would be a good way to account for ourselves as Airmen," Lendon said. "It's a constant visible reminder to stay mindful of what we do, say and act on."

Recently, Beale participated in the Air Force-wide health and welfare inspection to emphasize an environment of respect, trust and professionalism in the workplace and virtual environment. The purpose of this inspection was to reinforce expectations for the workplace environment, correct deficiencies and deter conditions that may be detrimental to good order and discipline. Organizations looked for and removed, if found, unprofessional or inappropriate items that hinder a professional working environment.

"We have an excellent record of professional relationships within our squadron already, but the steps won't stop here," Magaletta said. "This should extend into our personal lives as well."

According to a Letter to Airmen sent Nov. 16 by Secretary of the Air Force Michael B. Donley, Chief of Staff of the Air Force Gen. Mark A. Welsh III and Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James A. Roy, the Air Force must drive sexual assault from the ranks.

"You are a big part of the solution," the letter said. "Become personally involved. Recommit yourself to our core values. Be an advocate for professionalism and discipline. Let your fellow Airmen know you will not tolerate or support others who believe sexual assault is somehow acceptable - because it is not. Most importantly, if you are aware of sexual assault in your unit, report it."

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