MILLINGTON, Tenn. (NNS) -- The Navy is launching a new campaign April 1 in honor of National Alcohol Awareness Month called "Keep What You've Earned," designed to encourage responsible drinking among Sailors by focusing on the accomplishments in their Navy careers.
"Being an advocate for responsible drinking is not only a leadership responsibility - it is a responsibility of every Sailor in the fleet," said Chief of Naval Personnel and Total Force Fleet Master Chief Petty Officer April Beldo. "Together we have reduced the number of alcohol related incidents and DUIs by almost half over the last five years. By drinking responsibly, you can continue to help bring these numbers down and make a difference in fleet readiness."
According to Dorice Favorite, director of the Navy Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention (NADAP) program, Sailors drink primarily because of stress related to the workplace, their families and life changes.
"From boot camp to advancement exams, job training and deployments, the "Keep What You've Earned" campaign recognizes these challenges and encourages Sailors to drink responsibly to maintain their successful careers," said Favorite.
To address alcohol use from all angles, the new campaign actively engages alcohol abuse personnel, Navy leaders, local communities and Sailors as advocates for responsible drinking.
"Our Sailors are excited about this campaign's launch because they were a part of its development," said Cmdr. Jay Clark, commanding officer of the guided-missile destroyer USS Roosevelt (DDG 80).
Sailors from Roosevelt participated in a photo shoot to be used in posters and other print materials, then in an informal review of the products to see if they resonated with the core audience of young Sailors.
"We talk about responsible alcohol use constantly aboard Roosevelt, but it was nice to have the Navy include our Sailors in the development of something that affects them and their careers," said Clark.
"The safety and well-being of our Sailors is our top priority," said Beldo. "Sailors endure many challenges during their first few years of enlistment and this should be recognized. It should not be treated as an excuse to drink. We all work together to create and maintain a responsible drinking environment, remind Sailors of their accomplishments and encourage positive decisions regarding alcohol."
During April, NADAP encourages all units to discuss the importance of drinking responsibly. To facilitate these discussions, the "Keep What You've Earned" campaign offers leadership talking points, posters, fact sheets and social media messages, all of which are available on the NADAP website, http://www.nadap.navy.mil.
For more information, visit www.navy.mil, www.facebook.com/usnavy, or www.twitter.com/usnavy.