GREAT LAKES (NNS) -- The Chief of Naval Personnel announced on Jan. 30 the Great Lakes Chapter of the Coalition of Sailors Against Destructive Decisions (CSADD) took top honors as Shore Chapter of the Year for 2011.
According to Vice Adm. Scott Van Buskirk, the top CSADD chapters have set a pace for all commands to emulate.
"It is with great pleasure that I announce the CSADD Sea and Shore Chapters of the Year. The competition was fierce and each command did an outstanding job to promote the importance of the CSADD program," Van Buskirk said in his announcement.
Capt. Peter R. Lintner, commanding officer, Training Support Center (TSC) Great Lakes said, "The Great Lakes Chapter of CSADD deserves the recognition they received as Shore CSADD Chapter of the Year. Their efforts have been ground breaking."
The Sailors who comprise the chapter are primarily students from TSC Great Lakes. Lintner said it's the outstanding, professional results these Sailors produce that makes him very proud.
"Everywhere I go from Pensacola, to Norfolk, to San Diego, people ask me what the secret is. They have all seen the seen the CSADD videos and they are all equally impressed. This impressive group of young men and women have briefed their program at every level from the CNP on down."
Seaman Kit Wingate, the chapter's mascot "CSADD Guy" and unit founder said, "It's a real honor to be selected for Chapter of the Year. To be recognized for the hard work our team has done for the people of this command and around the fleet is outstanding."
CSADD's mandate is to influence, through peer-to-peer mentoring and association, the younger Sailors who comprise the majority of TSC's student population. Utilizing lectures, liberty briefs, interactive demonstrations, alternative activities, and sporting events, the chapter serves more than 4,500 Sailors attending schools at the various base learning sites.
The chapter developed 15 videos and various posters and presentations to cover areas such as underage drinking; sexual assault and prevention; bystander intervention; drug use; alternative and less evasive activities; along with nutrition and physical fitness.
Commander, Navy Region Midwest Command Master Chief CMDCM (SW/AW) Christopher L. Adams said, "Over this past year, the Great Lakes CSADD Chapter has drawn interest and visibility Navy-wide. The videos produced by this chapter have been used by our CNO and MCPON to various training events all over the world.
"These young men and women have spent countless hours focusing on making good decisions. They have learned that with support, all things are easier to accomplish."
CSADD's efforts have had a measurable effect on young student population at Great Lakes with sexual assaults being reduced 33% in fiscal year 2011 compared to the previous year. Problem areas such as underage drinking and hotel parties have also been reduced.
With presentations that reach 300-500 students each week, CSADD Great Lakes also strives to show the uniform with participation in community service events that involve staff and students from across the base.
TSC Command Master Chief CMDCM (SW/AW) R. Kent Tompkins said, "The Sailors that make up CSADD are some of the Navy's brightest Sailors who willingly step up to the plate to mentor their peers to maintain a course of success through good decision making. I feel that the Sailors heading to the fleet are better prepared to deal with the challenges they face during their initial command tours in the Navy."
Some other areas that have helped Great Lakes CSADD chapter stand above the rest included their use of social media to support their program; encouraging Sailors to lead through CSADD, and having strong support from the command leadership team.
"Our success would not be at all possible without the tremendous support from the command," Wingate said. "Naval Station Great Lakes, Navy Region Midwest and the tenant commands such as TSC, have bought into the message and allow us to do what we do. Empowering junior Sailors is the only way CSADD can be successful and there's no better example of that than here at Great Lakes."
Electronics Technician 3rd Class Ryan T. Dunigan, chapter president for Great lakes commented, "We are honored to receive this distinction. There was a ton of hard work put in by a lot of Sailors. CSADD at its core is about inspiring one another to stay out of trouble and strive for excellence."
During the past year, the chapter has set the bar for chapters across the Navy. Broaching subjects that would rarely be discussed between young Sailors, CSADD has opened the lines of communication at a level that is direct and effective. Yet in reaching this level of notoriety, what could be next for these dedicated Sailors?
"After talking with them today I do know one thing," said Adams. "They want to mentor the success of other chapters and get the word out even more to Sailors throughout the fleet.
"This is an outstanding group of Sailors doing the right thing for the right reasons, and I could not be more proud."
For information on Training Support Center (TSC) Great Lakes, visit: https://www.netc.navy.mil/centers/ on the web.
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