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NEWS | Nov. 30, 2023

Army Reserve Soldiers participate in Innovative Readiness Training

By Staff Sgt. Angela Ohearn 221st Public Affairs Detachment

Over 500 U.S. Army Reserve Soldiers with 7th Mission Support Command participated in an interactive educational performance facilitated by the social theater group, Pure Praxis, Nov. 16, Sembach Kaserne, Kaiserslautern, Germany.

Soldiers enhanced their readiness by contributing to the performance, “Just Joking,” which focused on Sexual Harassment and Assault Prevention with elements of suicide awareness and prevention.

“This was the best SHARP training I’ve ever had, and I’ve been in the Army for almost 17 years,” said U.S. Army Reserve Sgt. Lisa Ash. “I think this theater team should be everywhere.”

Ash was one of several Soldiers who were selected from the crowd to perform in the improvisational scenes on stage facilitated by the theater group.

“Our goal is to engage people more than the typical PowerPoint training does,” said Willie Fortes, one of the Pure Praxis facilitators. “We use storytelling and the narrative of theater to connect with people emotionally. It’s more comfortable to talk about hot topics and sensitive subjects when you have that buffer of a storyline.”

Pure Praxis is the only Department of Defense approved theater group to conduct this type of training, and their approach is evidence based, said Carolina Yepez, the command’s Sexual Assault Response Coordinator. This was also their first time performing for the command.

“The military is actually my favorite group to work with,” Fortes said. “The personalities of many of the military members lend themselves to really investing and participating in making the shows exciting… It’s just a really warm, welcoming group.”