The Fight Against Sexual Assault: Do You Know the Power of “YOUR” Uniform?

  • Published
  • By Kristina Conwill
  • 14th FTW SAPR Victim Advocate
When you wear your uniform, what comes to mind? Perhaps the words that come to mind are “freedom”, “serving“, “excellence”, “respect”, “honor” or “integrity”. Your uniform represents a plethora of high morals, values and standards that are respected by serving with excellence in the United States Air Force. The Columbus Air Force Base Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office (SAPR) would like to harness what we call “The Power of YOUR Uniform” to fight against sexual assault beginning April 1 for Sexual Assault Awareness Prevention Month (SAAPM).

Sexual Assault Awareness Prevention Month is rapidly approaching, and we have developed several prevention opportunities to help jump start our annual campaign of “The Power of YOUR Uniform”. Col. Seth Graham, 14th Flying Training Wing Commander, will host the opening ceremony with the signing of our Sexual Assault Proclamation followed by a Columbus AFB Airmen Storyteller, SSgt Kory Talbert, in the Kaye Auditorium at 10 a.m. on 1 April.

SSgt Kory Talbert, 14th Communications Squadron Quality Assurance Section Chief, is no stranger to our sexual assault community team. Talbert is a Columbus AFB Sexual Assault Victim Advocate who embodies courage, resiliency, empathy, and honor. He will share his 20-year journey about being sexually assaulted at the age 11 and how the Air Force helped him recover.

“It is a continuous journey, but I must be intentional. I know I wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for those people who met me where I was on my journey,” said Talbert. “I have taken full advantage of the opportunities and resources the Air Force has to offer.”

“The Sexual Assault Prevention and Response team is on -point when they ask you and me: ‘Do you know the power of YOUR uniform?’. I do,” Talbert said. “Like me, you have an opportunity to be the best version of yourself every day while serving in the greatest Air Force in the World.”

The Columbus Air Force Base SAPR team is passionate about helping Airmen navigate through sexual trauma and eliminating sexual assault in the military. They continuously advocate, collaborate and educate on sexual assault awareness and prevention, victim reporting, accountability, victim advocacy, and training and education.

One line of effort the SAPR office focuses on is educating the populace about how each of you , as a member of the United States Air Force , can abolish sexual assault and sexual harassment. First, you must understand your uniform represents a unique group of service members who are held to a higher standard. Second, your words and actions have a significant impact on our community, service members, culture and mission. Last, how we communicate is crucial. Did you say “Don’t stop” Or “Don’t! Stop!”

Leading yourself well might be the biggest challenge you will ever face. That’s why the Columbus AFB SAPR office strives to teach practical application with effective prevention strategies.

“I want people to know there is so much positive power in our Air Force uniform,” said Talbert. “I choose to use it for leading myself well and fighting against sexual assault or anything that doesn’t align with our Air Force core values.”

So, do you know “The Power of YOUR Uniform”?

What will you do today to move towards sexual violence prevention? We challenge you to not be part of the problem but the solution. If 3000 Columbus AFB Airmen made one positive impact daily over the course of one year the result would be astounding--1.1M gestures towards sexual assault prevention. Wear your uniform proudly and take action. Stand up. Speak up. It starts with you.

Join us on April 1 in the Kaye Auditorium to hear SSgt Kory Talbert share his story and begin our SAAPM month with the signing of the Sexual Assault Proclamation. Check out our April calendar of events below, on Facebook or the Blaze Bulletin.

Contact Mr. Tony Bean, Columbus AFB Sexual Assault Response Coordinator at 662-242-2105 or 662-434-1228 for sexual assault related inquiries.