Military News

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Listening to Sailors Provides the Help He Needs

By Mass Communication Specialist Senior Chief Steve Bansbach, Recruit Training Command Public Affairs

GREAT LAKES, Ill. (NNS) -- Rear Admiral Rick P. Snyder, Director, Twenty-First Century Sailor Office hosted an all hands call for commands at Naval Station Great Lakes, Illinois, November 20.

The all hands call was a chance for Snyder to speak to sailors about the assistance the Department of the Navy offers to its combat force.

The programs that are managed by the 21st Century Sailor's office include Bystander Intervention, Equal Opportunity, Life-Work Balance, Navy Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention, Navy Nutrition, Operational Stress Control, Total Sailor Fitness, Physical Readiness, Navy Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program, Suicide Prevention and Transition Assistance Program.

By talking about these programs, Snyder was able to achieve his other reason for his visit. He could listen. "I need to hear from [the sailors] what is working and not working," said Snyder. "Their feedback is the most important thing."

Snyder conducted two all hands calls, one for the Chief's mess and one for E-6 and below. The message for both audiences was the same. "Our goal is to make them better sailors," said Snyder. "We recognize there are challenges in the fleet. We know how busy sailors are; they have work they have to do, but sailors need to know these programs exist."

And Snyder knows improvements need to be made. "We know there are problems and we are working on it," said Snyder. "Our goal is to get the most efficiency out of the programs. We need to recognize those common elements that support those destructive behaviors and the common elements that build resiliency. We need to work on those common elements instead of working on one problem at a time."

Snyder also made time after the all hands call to talk one-on-one with sailors to make sure every sailor had a chance to ask a question. "I've found the time after an all hands call is valuable," said Snyder. "If a sailor isn't comfortable talking about something in public they can come up and ask their question privately. I always build that time in."

Snyder's all hands call wasn't all about the programs his office offers, but to thank his audience for building sailors. "The sailors that you have trained are mission ready," said Snyder. "They are all over the news getting the job done."

The 21st Century Sailor Office provides Sailors and families with the support network, programs, resources, training, and skills needed to overcome adversity and thrive. The 21st Century Sailor promotes resiliency in all service members and Navy families, as well as collaboration and synergy across a spectrum of wellness that maximizes total force fitness.

RTC is primarily responsible for conducting the initial Navy orientation and training of new recruits. The command is commonly referred to as "boot camp" or "recruit training".

Boot camp is approximately eight weeks, and all enlistees into the United States Navy begin their careers at the command. Training includes physical fitness, seamanship, firearms familiarization, firefighting and shipboard damage control, lessons in Navy heritage and core values, teamwork and discipline. Since the closure of RTCs in Orlando and San Diego in 1994, RTC Great Lakes is, today, the Navy's only basic training location, and is known as "The Quarterdeck of the Navy." Today, approximately 37,000 recruits graduate annually from RTC and begin their Navy careers.

RTC is overseen by Rear Adm. Rich A. Brown, commander, Naval Service Training Command (NSTC), headquartered in Building 1; the historic clock tower building on Naval Station Great Lakes, NSTC oversees 98 percent of initial officer and enlisted accessions training for the Navy. NSTC also oversees the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps (NROTC) at more than 160 colleges and universities, Officer Training Command at Naval Station Newport, Rhode Island, and Navy Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (NJROTC) and Navy National Defense Cadet Corps (NNDCC) citizenship development programs at more than 600 high schools worldwide

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