My experience with Green Dot training

(Courtesy graphic)

(Courtesy graphic)

MCCONNELL AIR FORCE BASE, Kan. -- I volunteered to teach this new program, Green Dot, without really understanding what it was all about. All I really knew was that it involved bystander intervention, in some way, shape or form.

I searched online, read a few articles and saw the program was designed to stop personal violence, which includes bullying, abuse, stalking, dating violence, in addition to sexual assault and domestic violence, which are the focus of our annual training requirements.

A few months after I volunteered to become an instructor, myself and several other individuals headed to Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma, to begin our training as Green Dot coordinators.

While we were there, a team of instructors from the Green Dot initiative went through the three types of classes with us and showed us ways to motivate people to become involved in this movement. People across the Air Force were questioning how this program would be different from training they had previously attended.

Airmen are good people and don’t want another individual telling them how to live their lives. Past programs focused on individuals and not necessarily the actions.

Green Dot does the opposite. This program focuses on what people can do to help and teaches them in a way that is most comfortable for them.

Since the training focuses on empowering bystanders to make a difference, people don’t feel like they’re being assigned a role based on social stereotypes.

Main topics discussed during the training are identifying potential harmful behaviors, what you can do in response to seeing a negative action and some proactive actions you can take to make it less likely a harmful act is carried out in the first place.

We’re in our second month of training, and so far I can say although there are still Airmen who are hesitant about the new program, there are those at Team McConnell who are buying into it. That includes myself, because when I volunteered to instruct I did so mostly hoping this could help me get into the realm of public speaking since that’s a weakness of mine.

In the three months that I’ve been involved with Green Dot, it has won me over and has been more than just a way for me to practice giving a presentation in front of people. I truly believe this is the right program for the Air Force and will be a great tool in reducing the number of personal violence that occurs.