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Sexual Assault and Harassment in Correlation with Combat Arms

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The integration of females into recently closed combat arms MOS’s, has been an example of sloppy and ignorant leadership. The question “Why is sexual assault and harassment still happening today?” is answered by the failed system issued by the HQDA A.K.A Headquarters Department of the Army, to insure best results for this so called plan/integration.

On April 19 of 2013, the HQDA tasked soldiers of 2020 with creating an initiative that would match the Army’s intention to assess the condition of combat MOS’s on a physical, mental and emotional level from females perspectives. This being a best way to have a comparison of a male and female’s point of view this initiative reflects the importance of mitigation at the unit level to control readiness and moral. Given the potential impacts, the study team used a phase by phase output to give a “test“ run to determine a leveling factor and setting a complete standard across the military. Despite the three years of revising risk factors to set a complete standard for female integration, a sudden spike in SHARP related instances has occurred over the past few years. According to the “Department of Defence Annual Report on Sexual Assault in the Military” reports of Sexual Assault and harassment are up over 5,000 cases annually since the year 2016.That year being, the same year of the female population combined in combat MOS’s was started.

A set standard being implemented into units has proved to be difficult in conjunction with SHARP. In focus groups around the Army, mainly those of combat MOS’s, the SHARP program has been perceived to create an environment that causes uncomfortability with interaction and integration as a whole. Soldiers argue about grey areas in regulation, and when attraction and harmless flirting become an offense punishable by the parameters of SHARP. Confusion with how to set standards has resulted in leadership recommending to avoid anything other than necessary contact as to avoid accusations.

The SHARP program has in many ways helped numerous amounts of Soldiers. However, it’s been advised that the Army enhances the way it handles allegations of sexual assault and harassment. As of now, commanders have complete authorization over whether or not to move forward with charges of sexual assault. “The overwhelming majority of military leaders do support prosecution. Just not against one of theirs. Members of a military unit share the dangers. “They guard each other’s flanks They become close.” is what Mark. E. Johnson stated in his 2018 task and purpose op-ed. Leaders in the ranks need to enforce strict standards with no tolerance. However it’s argued the prosecuting process, if done privately by military prosecutors, would result in accurate investigations and thorough punishment.

Higher reporting rates is an effect of either higher frequency of SHARP relating instances, or simply more Soldiers reporting. There is still no doubt that sexual harassment and assault are very concerning in today’s Army. If there are still SHARP reports and SHARP related instances occurring at this volume, the SHARP program should not be considered at all satisfactory.


  • Kirby, Jen. “Pentagon Report Shows Sharp Rise in Military Sexual Assaults.” Vox, Vox, 3 May 2019,
  • Lynett, Arnhart. “Gender Integration Study TRADOC Analysis Center.”, 2013, 

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Sexual Assault And Harassment In Correlation With Combat Arms. (2021, December 16). GradesFixer. Retrieved January 29, 2022, from
“Sexual Assault And Harassment In Correlation With Combat Arms.” GradesFixer, 16 Dec. 2021,
Sexual Assault And Harassment In Correlation With Combat Arms. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 29 Jan. 2022].
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