Colorado Springs Military Newspaper Group

Fort Carson Mountaineer

ACS training enlightens Soldiers, Families

By Scott Prater | Mountaineer staff

FORT CARSON, Colo. — When the Army implemented its People First initiative in 2020, domestic violence prevention training programs became an essential cog in its messaging to Soldiers and Families. Helping Soldiers maintain healthy relationships at home supports cohesive teams that sustain readiness.

Like much of the coursework they are required to complete, Soldiers often expect this type of training to be less than entertaining. The violence prevention topic is serious, cautionary and can easily be perceived as preachy.

Nevertheless, Steve Arce delivered the training with relative flair March 4 at McMahon Auditorium.

Arce, an Army Community Service (ACS) Family Advocacy Program specialist, asked a lot of questions. As participants responded, he followed-up with more questions. And, with each successive question, the attending Soldiers began to learn more about what constitutes violence. More importantly, they also began contemplating their own thoughts, attitudes and actions.

Then he described specific scenarios and asked attendees to decide if the relevant action in each scenario constituted violence. Among his many follow-up questions, he asked attendees to define domestic violence; if unmarried partners could be considered domestic partners; if verbal threats equated to violence; and how state laws and the Uniform Code of Military Justice play a role in defining violence, for example.

“Domestic or Family violence prevention is required training for all Soldiers, E-1 and up,” Arce said. “According to Army Regulation 608-18, every Soldier must attend the training annually. It’s been this way for several years.”

That doesn’t mean it has to be boring.

A 12-year veteran at Fort Carson’s ACS, Arce has been conducting the training for several years. He said he attempts to keep the seminar interactive and relatively fresh, while also providing attendees with the vital required information.

“This (training) is a good prevention strategy that includes domestic violence and child abuse prevention,” Arce said. “It covers what the Army’s policies are, what the dynamics of family violence are, how people can prevent it and what prevention resources exist to help them.”

It also provides some enlightening information. Many people are shocked, for instance, to learn that 40% of domestic violence victims are men, and that many of these cases often go unreported because men are concerned about being judged or shamed. Arce also revealed that any case of domestic violence perpetrated in front of children can be considered child abuse or neglect.

About 100 Soldiers attended ACS’s March 4 presentation, but more than 400, including Mountain Post senior leadership attended February’s session.

ACS conducts domestic violence prevention training once a month, and Arce has booked McMahon Auditorium one Friday each month, specifically.

“One thing many people don’t know is that we can conduct this training for individual units,” he said. “And, we can come to you. I’ve done this training in a hangar, in a motor pool and at many unit conference rooms. All anyone needs to do is contact us and request it.”

To learn more about the ACS Family Advocacy Program offerings, such as relationship classes, visit www.carson.army.mil/ACS or call 719-626-4590.

ACS training enlightens Soldiers, Families
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