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Know your part; Do your part

PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- As many of you are aware, this month marks the 14th observance of Sexual Assault Awareness & Prevention Month and the 2015 DOD SAAPM theme could not be any clearer:  "Eliminate Sexual Assault, Know Your Part, Do Your Part."

Last week, many of us were in the base theater for a 90-minute briefing  and training session hosted by our Wing SARC, Patricia Gragg -- and this following point was made time and time again.

"We need every member of our Air Force ¬ including enlisted, officers,  civilians and contractors ¬ to live our Core Values: 'Integrity First, Service Before Self and Excellence in all We Do.'"

And just so you know, if any of you question how serious our Air Force senior leadership considers this topic ... know this.

When Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James visited the 45th Space Wing last October, the first person she met with was Gragg  --  and the two of them had a private one-on-one meeting for about 20 minutes before she met with anyone else here.

Message received.

Team, we have reduced our numbers so much over the years that every single person here is mission critical to the current and continued success of Team Patrick-Cape.  Everyone counts, and everyone is key to mission readiness.

Sexual assault significantly degrades our mission readiness as we must have implicit trust in one another. The crime of sexual assault takes an extraordinary toll on victims, units and the Air Force.

Those who commit sexual assault break down our trust, inhibiting the health and welfare of our members and the success of our missions.

We must continue to build a culture of respect among all Airmen. Commanders and supervisors will be held accountable for the climate they create in their organizations.

Know Your Part: Each member of our Air Force Family has a unique role in preventing and responding to sexual assault. We must recognize our part in stopping this crime, starting with our own awareness and knowing when and where to intervene.

Do Your Part: We have to act. If we see a crime or inappropriate behavior unfolding, we need to step in to prevent it. We each need to add our voice to the call to end this crime. Sexual assault is not only inappropriate behavior, it is criminal behavior.

Team, every single day we succeed in accomplishing things that are almost beyond belief.

We really need to have each other's backs on this. Trust is everything to a high performing team in the profession of arms.

Stay Focused, Sharks!