Florida Guard Team,
April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and this year’s theme is “Live Our Values: Step Up to Stop Sexual Assault.” Our values go deeper than our uniform – they cannot and should not be taken off at the end of the duty day. Our culture demands that we live our values – all day, every day.
Sexual assault is a heinous crime that violates all of these values in the worst possible way. It is a virus that attacks from within our ranks, and tears at the very fabric of our organization. It costs us cohesiveness, trust, commitment and honor. That price is too high. We simply cannot afford to allow sexual assault to occur in an organization as fine as ours. Each and every one of us has the power to stop sexual assault, not only through controlling our own actions and attitudes, but by stepping up and intervening when appropriate.
I encourage each of you to dedicate time this month to learn more about sexual assault – so that we are preventing, not responding to, this violent and despicable crime. Become familiar with available resources, to include the Department of Defense Safe Helpline at www.safehelpline.org. I’m also providing a link below to a short video by the Air Force Chief of Staff, General Welsh, whose message I strongly support.
We are a team – and we take care of our team.
Emmett R. Titshaw Jr.
The Adjutant General of Florida