PEARL HARBOR (NNS) -- Sailors and senior leadership stationed throughout Navy Region Hawaii participated in a two-day personal readiness summit at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Feb. 17-18.
The summit focused on building trustworthy relationships between peers and command leadership, as well as promoting personal resilience to manage an array of personal behavior issues. With a theme of "Every Sailor Every Day," the summit's objective was to empower commands to provide a command climate culture of equal respect as a key part of developing operational readiness.
"It's critically important that naval leaders today ensure their teams, squadrons, ships and boat crews are ready to fight and win," said Adm. Harry B. Harris Jr., commander of U.S. Pacific Fleet (PACFLT). "It's a lot harder to be ready to fight if you're bogged down with personal issues that are distracting from the real mission."
U.S. Pacific Fleet Master Chief Marco Ramirez stressed the serious nature of the subjects addressed during the summit as vital to the organization.
"The purpose of the personal readiness summit is to make sure that we are engaged, and we can better recognize destructive behaviors," said Ramirez. "Part of readiness is to provide education in recognizing these issues because readiness is not a joke, it is what we do."
The summit included a diverse range of interactive presentations on topics such as sexual assault prevention, suicide prevention, stress control, ethics, physical readiness and other personal issues that affect the fleet.
"We try to bring in new and interesting speakers to provide different perspectives on personal and family readiness issues," said John Croce, PACFLT Personal and Family Readiness, Equal Opportunity, & Commercial Services Management, and host of the summit. "We get a lot of good feedback from these very sessions across the fleet and think it's a key component of our whole personal and family readiness program."
The participating Sailors were grouped in targeted audiences as a way to maximize training opportunities and group participation.
"Our organization is hierarchical, we have leaders and followers, but we are also a team and we share ideas and our practices," said Cmdr. John Kalantzis, PACFLT deputy chaplain, and a panel participant. "This summit is a mechanism for discussing the best practices, adjusting the policies where necessary and bringing in new fresh ideas and making processes we have work better so that we can take care of our people and win the fight."
Mike Domitrz, founder of "The Date Safe Project," performed interactive training fueled by crowd participation entitled, "Can I Kiss You." The presentation focused on sexual assault and changing the culture towards the meaning of consent.
"The best part about this training is that it's just blatantly truthful, he just says it like it is and people can better relate to it," said Steelworker 2nd Class William H. Baird, assigned to Naval Facilities Engineering Command. "It's an ongoing issue and everyone wants to do something to stop it but not a lot of people really make the effort to do so. Being straightforward really helps."
Harris suggests that leadership engage with their teams and talk to them about the subjects outlined in the summit sessions when they check in, to set the tone, and when they check out to see if the message has resonated.
"I encourage you to take from this summit the tools you need to communicate with your command team and help put a stop to the issues that distract us from the mission, for the welfare of our Sailors, our Navy and our nation," said Harris.
For more news from Navy Public Affairs Support Element West, Det. Hawaii, visit www.navy.mil/local/pacenhawaii/.