Sexual Harassment/Assault Prevention (SHARP) program

This information is subject to change based on updated policies and regulations. Please refer to the appropriate regulations, DoDIs and Army Policies on SHARP procedures.

EXORD 269-22 requires an exception to policy (ETP) to fill a vacant position. What criteria are used to evaluate an ETP request?

When Headquarters, Department of the Army, for SHARP receives an ETP, we review it carefully and deliberately using the justification the unit provides. The SHARP director must ensure that the OSD-directed installation-based structure supports all requests.

During fiscal year 2022, a force modernization staffing analysis was conducted to determine installation-based model requirements. Throughout that process, the Army staff used a planning factor of one sexual assault response coordinator (SARC) and one victim advocate (VA) per brigade or brigade equivalent, with an authorized force of 1,000 or more. Smaller units and tenant units below the brigade level are grouped together in order to provide SHARP support. Based on this planning factor, results were compared with current authorizations on the fiscal year 2023 table of distribution and allowances (TDA) to determine if adjustments to TDA positions were required.

ETPs are then compared with the recommended TDA for staffing analysis to inform hiring decisions. Based on the analysis above, the SHARP division will approve an ETP to hire SARCs and VAs, as long as the installation itself will not have more than the necessary personnel and the positions align with the new installation-based model.

It is imperative that we get the right people in these vital positions. I understand that for commands in remote areas, getting good talent is difficult. What can ARD SHARP offer to help with this?

The following human resource flexibilities are available to assist commands in recruiting and retaining a highly qualified civilian workforce. The use of these flexibilities is subject to local funding availability, eligibility requirements and current delegated approval authorities. Work with your local Civilian Personnel Advisory Center.

Superior qualifications and special-needs pay-setting authority: This discretionary authority, often referred to as an advanced-in-hire rate, allows hiring officials to set a newly appointed employee’s basic pay at a rate above the minimum rate of the appropriate General Schedule (GS) grade because the professional has superior qualifications or the agency has a special need for their services. Hiring officials may use the superior qualifications and special-needs pay-setting authority to set the rate of basic pay for an employee upon their first appointment as a civilian employee of the federal government or their reappointment to a GS position after a 90-day break in service.

Recruitment, retention and relocation incentives: Commonly referred to as the 3 R’s, these incentives are intended to attract new employees, retain current ones or relocate those with unusually high or unique qualifications for unique or hard-to-fill positions. Total incentive payments may not exceed 25 percent of the employee’s annual rate of basic pay in effect at the beginning of the service period multiplied by the years of obligated service. The employee must agree to enter into a service agreement for a specified period for all authorized incentives. The agreement must be by the employee and approved by the authorizing official before the employee’s entrance on duty (for new hires) or the effective date of the incentive (for current employees).

Will Soldiers continue to serve in the SHARP program?

Yes. Soldiers serve a vital role in SHARP, and those who have completed the career course and are credentialed will continue to serve in the program. Transition to Civilian roles will take time, certain locations may have difficulty filling positions and a decision regarding collateral-duty positions will not be made until fiscal year 2024.

For more detailed information on these and other updates, see here.

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