NAVAL SUPPORT ACTIVITY, Bahrain (NNS) -- The director of 21st Century Sailor Office held all-hands calls with Sailors and Marines aboard Naval Support Activity Bahrain, Feb. 6.
Rear Adm. Sean Buck spoke about topics ranging from suicide prevention to fitness during four separate sessions held for E-6 and below, E-7 and above, one for the Naval Support Activity (NSA) Bahrain Coalition of Sailors Against Destructive Decisions (CSADD), and one for Naval Support Activity (NSA) Bahrain Sexual Assault Response Coordinators (SARCs) and Victim Advocates (VAs).
Buck said two of his main objectives are to provide Sailors with an update on how the Navy is doing in reducing destructive behaviors that his office oversees and to solicit feedback from Sailors.
"It's one thing for me to perceive how the Navy is doing; it's another thing to listen to you all and see what you are thinking out in the fleet," he said. "The most important thing I can do is to come here and listen to you."
Buck led his discussions by talking about resiliency.
"Resiliency is our total health," he said. "It's all aspects of our well-being; our mental health, our physical health, our spiritual health and our social health."
Buck said there are a lot of things that impact resiliency and eventually break down Sailors to the point where they are not operating at their full potential. He said 10 to 11 straight years of combat, fighting two wars and family separation have had the biggest impact on resiliency for the Navy.
"All of that begins to break us and our families down," he said. "Then we are not as safe as we can be, and we are not as mission effective as we need to be to always fight the fight that wins the fight. That's what our Navy and our nation needs us to do."
He also addressed destructive behaviors and their impact on mission readiness. He spoke about suicide, sexual assault and alcohol and substance abuse in the Navy. He said alcohol related incidents (ARI) are the underlying cause of most destructive behavior.
"I'm convinced that if we reduce ARIs, we will have a significant impact on reducing all the other destructive behavior," said Buck. "As I look at all the statistics, 70 percent of all sexual assaults are associated with alcohol use. Alcohol related incidents are probably one of the easiest things we can tackle."
Buck focused his question and answer sessions on hearing feedback directly from the Sailors he serves. Topics ranged from input on ways to better communicate with Sailors through social media venues, to ways to improve training that Sailors find to be redundant.
NSA Bahrain CSADD President, Master-at-Arms 3rd Class Harold Howard, said he enjoyed the open discussion with the admiral.
"The fact that Rear Adm. Buck came out here and asked us what we think, is a really good thing," said Howard. "It says a lot for someone of his rank to come out and speak to us. You never really know what Sailors are thinking until you ask them directly. Having open discussions with groups turns out even better because everyone will be willing to join the conversation."
The 21st Century Sailor office is responsible for total Sailor fitness, resilience and readiness. The office is also the Navy lead on suicide prevention, sexual assault prevention and response, hazing prevention, fitness and nutrition, personal and family readiness, and the "Keep What
You've Earned" campaign.
NAVCENT is responsible for approximately 2.5 million square miles of area including the Arabian Gulf, Gulf of Oman, North Arabian Sea, Gulf of Aden, and the Red Sea. NAVCENT's mission is to conduct maritime security operations, theater security cooperation efforts, and strengthen partner nations' maritime capabilities in order to promote security and stability in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility.
For more information on 21st Century Sailor and Marine, visit www.21stcentury.navy.mil.
For more news from Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command/5th Fleet, visit www.navy.mil/local/cusnc/.