By MCC (SW/AW/EXW) Athena Blain, NCG 2 Public Affairs
The leading factor of attrition in the Navy, with the exception of medical and physical fitness requirements, usually stems from Sailors’ destructive behavior. This can range from felonies, sexual assault, domestic violence, drug and alcohol abuse, child endangerment, suicides and a host of other issues. Navy statistics show that a constant that tends to appear in many of these cases is alcohol.
“These are Navy-wide statistics and the Naval Construction Force is an important part of our Navy,” said Capt. John Adametz, Commander, Naval Construction Group (NCG) 2, Gulfport, Miss. NCG 2 and its West Coast counterpart, NCG 1, are working closely with the Navy Expeditionary Combat Command (NECC) to proactively counter destructive behavior.
With Navy programs such as the Coalition of Sailors Against Destructive Decisions (CSADD) and Military One Source, FOCUS, and Fleet and Family Service Center partnered with local programs including NECC’s Operational Stress Control workshop and the Embedded Mental Health program, Sailors a have a wide array of avenues to reach out for assistance.
“Our leaders need to continue to tackle this issue,” said Adametz. “We need to make sure our Sailors are physically, emotionally, financially and spiritually well across the spectrum. It is our job and imperative to readiness, both for mission and families.”
“I want Sailors to take advantage of all of the programs available, trust their chain of command, help and lean on one another. Helping a Shipmate through a tough spot is what makes military service special. It is part of what we know as camaraderie, teamwork and a fundamental tenet of leadership,” said Adametz.
Attrition and destructive behavior isn’t the only issue Adametz stresses, especially during the upcoming holiday season.
“We need to continue to emphasize a ‘Culture of Safety,’” said Adametz.
Vehicle accidents, especially motorcycle accidents, are a detriment not just to the Navy, but to any Sailor and his/her family. According to Navy Safety Center, motorcycle accidents accounted for 26 percent of all Class A mishaps in 2013. While the Navy has seen a downward trend in motorcycle fatalities since 2010, the numbers are slowly starting to creep back up.
Many Sailors in Gulfport ride [motorcycles], said Adametz. If that’s their passion, he wants them to enjoy it and do it safely…that is, ensure their training is current, wear the proper equipment and operate the vehicle safely. He added that Highway 10 is dangerous, with speed and other vehicles being factors.
“There are always fatalities on that highway,” said Adametz. “Then, this region has many two-lane roads and sharp turns. I just want to remind people to drive at speeds that are safe for the current conditions; subtract from the posted legal limit by considering weather, traffic and lighting.”
The “Culture of Safety” is not just about Sailors in their private lives, but extends to the work place as well. Before any event, all NCG 2 commands should have the senior person give a quick safety brief.
“I want it to be awkward if someone doesn’t talk about [Operational Risk Management] before any evolution, making the right choice at the moment of choice,” said Adametz. “Leaders, please take that second to talk about safety.”
Safety should be a priority all the time, but it’s most especially crucial during the holiday season. Holiday parties, traveling on leave and alcohol consumption that leads to alcohol incidents tend to spike over the next couple of months, but there are several programs available right here that can assist. Use the Navy’s Travel Risk Planning System (TRiPS), pay attention during the command safety stand-down and know your limits.