By Senior Airman Tammie Ramsouer, Maxwell Public Affairs
/ Published October 25, 2017
More than 70 Airmen participate in regional Green Dot training to become instructors at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., Oct. 19, 2017. Maxwell was named the regional Green Dot training area for the month of October. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Tammie Ramsouer)
Airmen from around the world gathered at Maxwell Oct. 17-20 to learn how to be personable to others on identifying and intervening in high-risk situations, such as sexual and physical assaults.
Three regional Green Dot trainers from Alteristic, a non-profit, Air Force-contracted organization, came to Maxwell to teach the “new” Green Dot Instructor Course.
The Green Dot training launched in 2006 at the University of Kentucky in response to sexual assault, domestic violence and stalking. By providing Airmen with skills that are realistic, accessible and actionable, they can begin to help build a culture where military members and their families are safe from violence.
“We believe that the work of prevention is less about convincing people to do something they don’t want to do, and more about equipping them with realistic tools that allows them to do what they have been wanting to do all along,” said Anthony Gallela, Allteristic Green Dot instructor. “Given the daily human cost of sexual violence, partner violence, stalking and suicide on bases, engaging Airmen in violence prevention is crucial.”
The four-day training provides ways for the participants to deliver the message of Green Dot. Their primary focus is how to teach, provide and inform others of intervening in high-risk situations, such as a possible sexual assault, in way that is personable and impactful to them.
Alteristic has been offering Green Dot training globally for the Air Force and many other organizations. Every year they choose a random Air Force base to provide regional training. Maxwell is the selected base for the training in October.
The training is broken into two parts.
“Once [these Airmen] go through the training, they are somewhat certified Green Dot instructors,” said Cynthia Cuppernell, 42nd Air Base Wing violence prevention integrator.
After the training course at Maxwell, Airmen receive their certificates; however, once they return to their duty stations, the designated violence prevention integrator will work with them to ensure they have time to practice the material they were just taught.
“We want to make sure the Airmen are knowledgeable of the material and can effectively deliver it to be the most impactful and sustaining,” Cuppernell said. “Once we feel they are ready, they can begin to instruct.”
More than 70 Airmen from installations throughout the world came to the training. For most, this is their first time learning to become a certified Green Dot instructor.
“This is my first time becoming a Green Dot instructor and this course is helping me learn how to teach what I am learning here in a more relatable way to other Airmen,” said Master Sgt. Daniel Schumann, Ramstein-Miesenbach Air Base, Germany, air traffic control systems functional area manager. “I am big in mentorship and talking with people, and if I can show others an avenue to seek help, then I’ve done my part. It’s a very good and interactive course, and more than I expected it was going to be.”
During the training, the individuals learn hands-on skill building, content practicing and collaborate in team feedback sessions.
“The program does not just focus on what needs to be said, but also on how it needs to be delivered,” Gallela said. “We have worked with the Air Force to apply this framework to suicide prevention, to empower all Airmen to intersect with this issue as part of the solution by providing direct and indirect methods of intervention and develop a culture where [they] watch out for each other.”
Most of the participants in the group have had their own experiences with the subject matter and hope to help others once they become fully certified Green Dot instructors.
“I use to be a military training leader at my last base, so I dealt with a lot of Airmen who had gone through sexual assault, domestic violence and a host of other problems,” Schumann said. “I believe this course will help in implementing this mindset year-round, not just during the awareness months.”
For more information about Green Dot, or how to become an instructor, contact the Maxell violence prevention integrator at 953-4994.