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Sgt. Crystal Reidy, 3rd Sustainment Command (Expeditionary)
In February, the 3d Sustainment Command (Expeditionary)'s deployed sexual assault response coordinator was selected as the Multi-National Corps – Iraq's DSARC of the Year for her role in assisting Soldiers who have been victims of sexual assault.
When a battalion-sized unit or higher is deployed it is required to have a DSARC to manage the sexual assault prevention and response coordination for the commander. The DSARC position is one example of how the Army is committed to eliminating sexual assault in five years.
Lt. Col. Lynn S. Jackson, equal opportunity program manager and DSARC for MNC-I, said every DSARC in Iraq does outstanding work. She said whether they are coordinating care for a victim of sexual assault, helping commanders identify safety risks for young men and women in their respective commands, or training unit personnel on the awareness of sexual assault - they are doing emotional and tough work that has a far reaching impact.
Master Sgt. Verlean Brown, DSARC for the 3d ESC, "stands out because of her professionalism," Jackson said.
"Her compassion for others and her commitment to dignity and respect Jackson, a resident of Fort Bragg, N.C., said Brown had a large community to represent and train. She said Brown personally oversaw the management of cases, worked with victims, and trained not only her unit's personnel but also their sister service and civilian personnel on JBB.
"There was not a request that was ignored for advice, training or program management," Jackson said.
There was not a victim or victim advocate who could not reach out to her 24/7 for support."
As part of managing her program, Brown personally assists service members who have been victims of sexual assault. Brown said her role as DSARC, she feels she is doing what she was meant to do - to help others.
"I am a caregiver by nature, and being a Soldier you serve the citizens of the U.S.," Brown, a native of Sherwood, Ark. said. "In this job I feel I am serving God and country."
Brown is responsible for supervising and training 200 victim advocates. She has hosted more than 40 educational classes that provided sexual assault prevention training to over 3,000 Soldiers, Airmen, Sailors and Marines.
Brown said receiving the DSARC of the year award validates her hard work. She said she feels her effort and training has been recognized and she doing a good job.
"Sometimes you question yourself, Am I doing things right?' or 'Am I doing enough?'," Brown said. "Receiving this award tells me I've done a good job and done it right."
In October, Brown implemented the Army's new I. A.M. Strong Campaign to combat sexual assault. Her office hosted promotional events, including a 5K run, the play "Sex Signals," and sexual assault and harassment prevention skits. She also co-chaired or chaired more than 30 case management groups or luncheons.
"There is truly a cause and effect relationship between her efforts in training and awareness rograms and the increased awareness of the response assets and the prevention measures for the personnel at Joint Base Balad," Jackson said.
Brown said her program has been successful because of the partnerships she has with the other victim advocates, senior leadership from the Air Expeditionary Wing and tenant units on JBB. She said she has closeworking relationships with all of the branches of service, including first responders, chaplains, medical personnel, counselors, and criminal investigation divisions.
"Everyone works closely together to make sure the program works and we are taking care of victims," Brown said.
One example of the cohesive working relationship is how DSARCs from the different branches rotate as primary on-call sexual assault responders to victims on-post without a victim advocate, such as traveling Soldiers or third-country nationals.
Brown said she enjoys seeing a victim smile after they have been helped. She said when they first come in they may be confused, terrorized or ashamed and other negative emotions.
"I like the moment when you see the healing begin," Brown said. "I like seeing the good come out of a bad situation."