WASHINGTON (NNS, July 18, 2013) – Navy leaders announced their newest sexual assault prevention initiatives in a NAVADMIN and a policy letter designed to continue the fleet-wide comprehensive battle against this crime.
Adm. Jonathan Greenert, chief of naval operations (CNO) made the announcement in NAVADMIN 181/13 that outlined additional fleet initiatives from the San Diego fleet concentration area, and Fleet Training Center Great Lakes. The CNO has directed the rest of the fleet to implement some of the best practices proven to help combat sexual assault in the Navy.
The director of the Navy’s 21st Century Sailor office (N17) has been named the Chief of Naval Operations’ Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR) Officer and will direct the implementation of Navy-wide Sexual Assault Prevention and Response efforts for the Navy.
“Everyone, from E-1 to O-10, must take responsibility for promoting a climate of dignity and respect and an environment that does not demean individuals or tolerate sexist behavior, sexual harassment or sexual assault,” said Rear Adm. Sean S. Buck, director of the 21st Century Sailor office. “The execution of the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response initiatives across the Fleet is an imperative that I believe will have an impact on reducing, with the goal of eliminating the crime of sexual assault from our Navy.”
“These new initiatives are part of Navy’s on-going efforts to provide for the safety and security of every Sailor,” said the admiral. “We also are emphasizing other programs like Keep What You Earn (KWYE) and Coalition of Sailors Against Destructive Decisions (CSADD) to help our people understand the negative impact that alcohol can have on their lives and how they can support and help their Shipmates make good decisions.”
While the programs and initiatives outlined in the NAVADMIN are primarily focused on prevention, they also serve as a deterrent and reinforce commander’s responsibility for victim support.
“Commanders have the responsibility for ensuring victims of sexual assault are supported, provided options in accordance with Department of Defense guidance, and that the allegations will be independently investigated and offenders held appropriately accountable,” said Buck.
Some of the initiatives in the NAVADMIN include commands increasing command leadership visibility with roving barracks patrols led by chief petty officers or experienced officers (O-3) and augmented with first class petty officers with implementation by October 1 to deter behavior that may lead to sexual assault or misconduct.
Also the Navy will assign a dedicated SAPR Officer (O4 or above) to U.S. Fleet Forces, U.S. Pacific Fleet, U.S. Naval Forces Europe, Naval Surface Forces, Naval Submarine Forces, Naval Air Forces, Bureau of Medicine and Surgery (BUMED), Naval Expeditionary Combat Command (NECC), the Systems Commands (NAVSEA, NAVAIR, SPAWAR, NAVFAC) and U.S. Fleet Cyber Command who will report directly to their respective commander.
By the end of fiscal year 2014 Navy will have deployed resiliency counselors to CVN and LHD/LHA commands. These counselors will be dedicated civilian professionals with Sexual Assault Response Coordinator (SARC) training, certification and credentials and able to take restricted and unrestricted reports of sexual assault. They will deploy with Carrier Strike Groups, Expeditionary Strike Groups, and Amphibious Ready Groups to provide services, support and coordination for sexual assault prevention and response, and continuity of care for suicide prevention, stress reduction and other occurring life situations.
Additionally, latest initiatives include implementing best practices from fleet concentration areas throughout the fleet and revising alcohol sales policies at Navy Exchanges worldwide.
In a separate document, the CNO directed Navy Exchanges to make changes in their alcohol sales procedures. Liquor should only be sold at main exchanges or at dedicated package stores, and they will reduce the footprint of alcohol displays and merchandise in stores other than package stores to no more than 10 percent of the retail floor space. More information is available at http://navylive.dodlive.mil/files/2013/07/ALCOHOL-SALES_7_18_2013_7_55_40.pdf.
NEX facilities will also make single-use alcohol detection devices available to customers. All of these changes will take place within the next 90 days.
The NAVADMIN also directs commands to ensure all Sailors residing in barracks attend indoctrination training within 30 days of occupancy.
To reduce vulnerability of Sailors while walking on base, commanders will survey facilities to identify areas that require better lighting, visibility or other safety improvements.
Each Navy installation and fleet concentration area will have a senior flag officer designated to lead the area SAPR program. This flag officer will establish routine coordination meetings with installation, local command representatives and local community and civic leaders to review SAPR program efforts. Duties will also include ensuring a community outreach and engagement plan is part of each area’s SAPR program and include base and region commander cooperation, coordination and consultation with local law enforcement, hospitals and hotels.
“Ensuring a command climate of respect, trust and professionalism is critical to combating sexual assault,” said Buck. To this end commands must review their compliance with command climate surveys ensuring one is conducted within 90 days of a new commanding officer assuming command and every 12 months thereafter.
Also, commanders must ensure they have briefed their immediate superior on their most recent command climate assessment using the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute (DEOMI) Organizational Climate Survey (DEOCS), to include a plan of action and milestones for corrective actions.
More information on these sexual assault initiatives can be found in NAVADMIN 181/13 at http://navylive.dodlive.mil/files/2013/07/NAVADMIN-181_13.pdf.
For more information and resources to combat sexual assault visit www.sapr.navy.mil. Sexual assault affects Navy readiness, and the Navy is committed to preventing sexual assault. Join the Navy’s conversation about sexual assault on social media and help raise awareness by using #NavySAPR.