What is your Green Dot?

BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, La. -- It takes little effort to create, as simple as pressing the tip of a pen to paper, but when used properly, many dots can create a masterpiece.

Recently, the Air Force contracted the non-profit Green Dot organization to take additional strides toward decreasing interpersonal violence, helping Airmen paint a canvas that does not allow blemishes of violence within the Air Force.

“Green Dot is the Air Force’s answer to interpersonal violence,” said Tech. Sgt. Shanco Williams, Green Dot implementer. “As soon as the program was adopted here, the team hit the ground running.”

The Barksdale AFB Green Dot Team consists of four coordinators and 14 implementers from the 2nd Bomb Wing, Air Force Global Strike Command and the 307th Bomb Wing. Each member went to a formal training at another location before returning to practice the material and be evaluated for fidelity and authenticity, with material mastery being their main goal. After being signed-off on training, implementers began conducting senior leadership training followed by peer influencer and now general overview.

“The Air Force has an expectation for their Airmen to respond to harm being done to another, but they don’t always know what to do or what to look for,” Williams said. “The Green Dot initiative was implemented Air Force wide to give Airmen the tools they need to carry out that expectation.”

Senior leadership training is designed for commanders, chiefs and first sergeants. Peer influencer training is designed for individuals in the unit who are considered official or unofficial influencers. They are considered the “early adopters” of the Green Dot philosophy. General overview training is the final training and is provided to about 85 percent of the base population, teaching the basics of the Green Dot approach.

“The important thing to remember about Green Dot and why it is so different from other trainings in the past is that it is empirically supported, has been proven to work, and relies on something other than copious amounts of PowerPoint slides,” said Senior Airman Jebediah Ramsey, Green Dot coordinator. “The true success of the training relies on the implementer and how well they present the material and make a connection between the audience and the content.”

While each training varies in the time and amount of detail, each covers the basics. Basics include explaining the need for a culture change, definition of red dots and reactive and proactive green dots, barriers of engaging, three-Ds to overcoming barriers, and defining commitments to the program.

“The tools we teach allow people to recognize, analyze and respond to a problem in one of three ways; direct, delegate or distract. If you wait too long it might get out of hand,” Williams said. “Early prevention, recognition and intervention is the key to success. If someone sees harm being done in our family on Barksdale we are asking them to be responsive.”

Each training also has hands-on activities focused on reinforcing the content to enhance comprehension and provide tools for members to use in real world situations.

“During class, the implementers focused on teaching individuals to become less of a spectator and more involved,” said Tech. Sgt. Andrew Dvirnak, 2nd Communications Squadron project manager. “In essence, it was a call to action, to no longer be passive bystanders but to aspire to be someone more constructive when the rubber meets the road.”

The training will fulfill members’ Sexual Assault Prevention Response training for this year.

The base Green Dot team has specifically scheduled trainings to accommodate shift workers and the team will be starting mobile trainings for units that are unable to attend previously scheduled classes. However, the venue for these classes must meet certain requirements. There is a class size minimum and maximum contingent upon the type of training required.

For more information or to register for a class, visit the Barksdale AFB Green Dot SharePoint site at https://cs1.eis.af.mil/sites/barksdale/2%20BW/GD/default.aspx.