Airmen accountability: Teal rope program gets revamped Published Aug. 1, 2014 By Airman 1st Class Jelani Gibson 82nd Training Wing Public Affairs SHEPPARD AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- The Teal Rope program at Sheppard is undergoing an overhaul in the way Airmen are held accountable. A teal rope, worn around the shoulder of an Airman's uniform, designates the training and volunteerism the student has undergone to be able to assist peers in dealing with sexual assault. The primary objective is to promote a climate of respect, dignity and professionalism. The desired effects aim to improve organizational climate and increase awareness as well as expectations and resources available to students. In turn, this also makes teal ropes prime candidates to become victim advocates at their next base. "If you're more self-aware of how you are and your actions and bring the good out of yourself, you're more likely to bring the good out of others as well and change people's lives," said Airman Basic Brittany Renollet, 364th Training Squadron teal rope. The program emphasizes peer-to-peer counseling and is a joint venture initiative between the 82nd Training Wing Sexual Assault Prevention and Response office and 82nd Training Wing Equal Opportunity. The peer counseling process aims to involve Airmen from the lowest tier all the way up to the wing commander, making the results as dynamic as possible. "Peer-to-peer counseling is about Airmen helping Airmen...they have the ability to say 'How may I help," said Tony Wyatt, 82nd TRW SAPR chief. Many of the Airmen who are a part of the program feel like the emphasis on peer-based counseling and more in-depth training gives the teal rope initiative a more tangible sense of meaning and direction. "It's more concrete, it has more backing and more support for us to do the right thing and I think right now we're growing in numbers and the program is growing," said Airman 1st Class Nicole Fuhrmann, 365th TRS teal rope. As a recently named wing representative for all of the teal rope students, Fuhrmann looks at the program as more than an extra duty. "It's becoming a movement...it's like we're changing the behavior of the entire Air Force," she said. "If you change the Air Force, you change the military, if you change the military then maybe you can change the country," said Airman 1st Class Joshua Leary, 364th TRS teal rope. As the program continues to find its footing with motivated participants, the Airmen involved continue in their goal to hold others accountable to a higher standard when it comes to wingmanship and a more professional environment.