Brig. Gen. Torrence Saxe, adjutant general of the Alaska National Guard, speaks to a crowd about his motivation to adhere to his core values and willingness to fight for those who need it here April 6, 2019.
Released: April 15, 2019
By: Sgt. David Bedard
JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska — The Alaska National Guard kicked off Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month April 7 with a proclamation signing, a resource hall with booths and personnel from partner agencies, an ensemble from the 9th Army Band, and remarks from Brig. Gen. Torrence Saxe, adjutant general and commissioner for the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs.
The Alaska National Guard recognized the awareness month to continue raising awareness and energizing efforts to eliminate sexual harassment and sexual assault in the Guard and within the community.
“Where there’s people, there’s potential for sexual harassment and sexual assault,” said Addison Reynolds, sexual assault response coordinator for the Air Guard’s 176th Wing at JBER. “So, it would take each of us, every Soldier, every [Department of Defense] contractor, everyone within the community to come together to eradicate sexual assault and sexual harassment.”
DoD’s 2019 SAAPM theme, “protecting our people protects our mission,” declares that “each of us has a role to ensure we live and work without the threat of sexual assault.”
At the event, Saxe was joined by the Alaska Air National Guard’s 176th Wing commander, Brig. Gen. Darrin Slaten, to sign the proclamation for a renewed commitment to protect Guard members, mission partners and our local community.
“You heard ‘[you] protect the people, you protect the mission,’ well that’s a version of ‘you take care of the people, you take care of the mission.’” Saxe said. “That’s something that we do day in and day out; it should be ingrained in our culture. I think it is, but I want to refine that even more.”
Saxe explained that experiences in his career taught him the necessity of ensuring “truly, zero tolerance” within the organization. He said the line starts with inappropriate jokes, don’t cross it. He expressed the importance of personal accountability.
“It starts with the person you see in the mirror,” Saxe said. “Ranks change, positions change, but you have to hold that person you see in the mirror accountable,” he said.
“Make that zero tolerance start with you. Zero tolerance, but should it happen, make sure you take care
of that Airman or that Soldier, because that’s what we do.”
Army Guard Road,
JBER, AK 99505