MAY 26, 2015, GUANTANAMO BAY, Cuba (NNS) – Sitting in a classroom with other service members and a power point presentation is a normal and sometimes dreaded slight when it comes to military training and had an onlooker gazed into the Naval Station (NS) Guantanamo Bay’s Chapel Fellowship Hall they would have seen exactly that.
However, without sticking around to find out more, they would have missed the fact that this was Alcohol and Drug Abuse Management Seminar (ADAMS) for Supervisors and was being taught by Center for Personal and Professional Development Learning Site Mayport Instructor, Senior Chief Culinary Specialist Sheldon Willis.
“ADAMS for Supervisors is a requirement for all E-5s and is to help supervisors recognize and prevent any alcohol or drug related incidents in the Navy,” said Willis.
Beyond the typical power point presentation, Willis had students split up into groups and tasked them to come up with command directives that they would then present to “congress” (the rest of the class) and defend their positions in regards to reducing Driving Under the Influence (DUIs) incidences in the Navy.
“I love the ideas I hear and I hope they take them to their Chiefs’ Mess and that the Chiefs’ Mess runs it up their chain of command,” remarked Willis. “I just want to thank everyone in my class these past few days on an outstanding job with the feedback and a lot of input on how they would handle DUI’s.”
Willis mentioned it is due to this feedback that CSADD and other programs have actually started. Students providing their thoughts and ideas in regard to various training has a profound impact in the way that training is conducted and in getting their thoughts and feelings regarding policies established or modified.
Through this two week period Willis and Master Chief Boatswain’s Mate Johnny Ford conducted four training classes; ADAMS for Supervisors, Personal Responsibility and Values: Education and Training (PREVENT), Command Training Team Indoctrination, and Command Managed Equal Opportunity course.
One of the problems that the instructors have faced giving this training is that commands do not often ask for the training even though they are required and allow Sailors to forgo them and Willis urges them to ‘stop using the excuse of mission first. It is not mission first. It is Sailors always. Get your Sailors to the training,” pushes Willis. “Don’t wait till an incident has already happened.”
Making use of the training is not the only thing Willis promotes but also urges the community at large to take advantage of all the resources found on the base such as the chaplains, medical and Fleet and Family for addictions or other issues.
Supervisors in the military or civilian sector should also take advantage and know the available tools to help assist anyone they see that could indicate having a problem and get them to the right place for help or treatment.
Willis said he would like to see “all E-5 and above to lead by example, for Sailors to follow that example and shipmate helping shipmate. If they see a problem, step up and step in.”
With a final word of advice to the supervisors and others wanting to help others Willis said the key thing a person needs to be able to do is “to be approachable.”