Green dot gets 'green light'
By Staff Sgt. Matthew Collings, 301st Fighter Wing Public Affairs
/ Published February 12, 2016
NAVAL AIR STATION FORT WORTH JOINT RESERVE BASE, Texas -- Leaders from the 301st Fighter Wing recently met to discuss the implementation of the Air Force's new violence prevention program called Green Dot.
This program educates wing Airmen and civilian personnel about their role as bystanders and responsibility as wingmen to intervene in situations where violence is present.
Ms. Laura Loftin, the 301 FW sexual assault response coordinator (SARC), explains why Green Dot was chosen verses other methods of training.
"Unlike training in the past, such as sexual assault prevention response (SAPR) training, this [Green Dot] is a different approach," she said. "It is really open to everybody. I think sometimes people look at this as 'I'm not a victim or I'm not an offender, why do I need this training?' whereas this is more bystander training and we are all bystanders. So as bystanders, if we see something, we should say or do something."
Green Dot is a national organization that focuses on ending violence one green dot at a time. Red dots symbolize an act of violence. Green dots symbolize Airmen who are intolerant of violence and encourage bystanders to be proactive.
This program provides wing members with tools to help prevent personal violence such as sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, child abuse, elder abuse and bullying.
The Green Dot philosophy focuses on peer influence. The main goal is to mobilize a force of engaged and proactive bystanders.
School districts, college campuses and various professional organizations around the globe have adopted this program. And now the U.S. Air Force is on board and ready to implement the Green Dot philosophy.
According to the Green Dot website, program training focuses on the four main components of the Green Dot Model of Influence which are:
- Relationships: Green Dot believes that any effective prevention program must be built within the context of authentic, positive interpersonal relationships.
- Connection: Research suggests that people are most likely to engage in this issue if they feel a personal level of connection and responsibility.
- Knowledge: Airmen and civilian counterparts will be trained on the current research across relevant fields of study.
- Skills: Implementers will attend 4-day training and will engage in a progressive skill building exercise focused on persuasive communication skills.
The Air Force began rolling out the first phase of its violence prevention strategy in 2015 and will continue through 2018.
At the 301st Fighter Wing, Green Dot Implementers have been hand selected by members of the Community Action Information Board (CAIB) to attend training in March based on several qualifying factors. The CAIB consist of the wing commander, chaplain and various other senior leaders from the wing who represents the installation's diverse stakeholder groups. They are also responsible for providing oversight of the implementation.
Wing Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Mark McDaniel serves as a representative on the CAIB and is a major proponent of the Green Dot program.
"I think that anything the Air Force can do that is proactive in nature to stem sexual assault and harassment is a good thing," he said. "If any place should have a culture of respect for all, it should be the United States military and the Air Force".
Once the training is complete, implementers will roll out the training to units across the wing.
"While it is discouraging to see anyone sexually assaulted or harassed, it is encouraging to see that institutionally, the Air Force is making a concerted effort to institute a culture of support and 'zero tolerance' for any kind of sexually related violence, " McDaniel said.