Air Force implements Green Dot

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Madelyn McCullough
  • 446th Airlift Wing

The face of Airman safety training as we now know it is about to change.

The senior leaders of the 446th Airlift Wing participated in an interpersonal violence training program called Green Dot today. This program is the new form of the Sexual Assault Response and Prevention training Airmen receive each year.

“We’ve been having SAPR training and we have seen improvements, particularly in reporting, but numbers of people being affected by interpersonal violence have been relatively steady,” said Master Sgt. Anthony Gallela, 446th Aerospace Medicine Squadron education and training manager.

Leadership wants these occurrences to decline, so they decided to take a different approach. After looking at more than 100 different programs, they chose Green Dot.

“The Green Dot concept is about bystander intervention,” said Gallela, who is also the lead Green Dot coordinator for the 446th AW. “It says to people that interpersonal violence is unacceptable and we, as Air Force members, expect each other to do something.”

The curriculum sheds light on the fact that doing something can be hard sometimes for legitimate reasons, said Gallela. These reasons, or barriers as the program refers to them, are what Green Dot addresses. The course teaches people how to identify and deal with barriers so they can successfully intervene in situations such as domestic violence, sexual violence, stalking, and more.

“We are blessed to be in an organization that provides life skills training that not only has an impact here in the Air Force Reserve but in personal lives when not serving the nation,” said Col. Gerry Signorelli, 446th AW vice commander.

 “I’m a unit training manager and I’ve done a lot of training and quite honestly, it’s the best thing I’ve seen,” said Gallela. “It really speaks to understanding that people are different in how they deal with things and what they deal with are different. Also, it doesn’t just address need for culture change, it speaks very plainly about how culture change is possible. When you go through the training, you realize how to manufacture and infiltrate change.”

These results passed the highest level of criteria and the program is being implemented Air Force wide. After senior leaders go through the briefing, the rest of the Air Force will attend one-hour training sessions annually.

 “Green Dot has empirical studies that show that it works,” said Gallela. “Violence has been reduced by between 17 and 50 percent in communities where it has been used.”

 “You never know when this training is going to present an opportunity for you to help and assist as a victim advocate,” said Signorelli. “When that moment comes, knowing what to do and how to safeguard the privacy of your teammate, coworker, family member, and friends and to ensure that people are getting the help they need is of the utmost importance.”