By Rear Adm. Rick Snyder
Director, 21st Century Sailor Office
I’d like to take this opportunity to introduce myself as your new director of the 21st Century Sailor Office. My name is Rear Adm. Rick Snyder, and I recently took the reins from Rear Adm. Sean Buck, stepping into an office with an awesome mission and a very dedicated and capable team in place. I have no doubt that together with the Fleet’s help, we will build upon the great work already accomplished since the inception of the 21st Century Sailors Office just over a year ago.
I come from command of Expeditionary Strike Group Two (ESG 2) in Norfolk, Va., where I saw firsthand how 21st Century Sailor Office policies and programs were executed in the Fleet. Now that I’m sitting in the seat in Washington, I can continue to bring a Fleet perspective to the efforts of my predecessor and the team of professionals with whom I now have the honor to serve.
The Office’s efforts of the last 13 months have been many. We created programs and policies to promote a culture of fitness, reduce destructive behaviors, including sexual assault, enforce accountability at all levels, and provide resources and training for Sailors to understand and deal with operational stress. There is tangible progress! We developed the “Keep What You’ve Earned” campaign to better address alcohol-related issues. There has been a decline in both sexual harassment and discrimination reports. Prevention of hazing and other abusive behaviors is now better enabled by a new office to help command triads identify and eliminate abusive behaviors while encouraging the Sailor signature behaviors we expect to see in the Fleet on a daily basis. Positive results for illegal drugs are down, but we noted a rise in positive results for prescription drug abuse/misuse. In response, we deployed a new campaign called “Prescription for Discharge” to educate Sailors and their families on how to safely use and dispose of prescription drugs. We deployed resilience counselors on ships in the Fleet to provide an additional resource to whom Sailors can reach out when needed. Our Physical Fitness Assessment pass rates are the best they’ve been in years, and we’re enhancing that progress with an increased focus in healthy eating. For more details on these efforts, I encourage you to read the last blog from Rear Adm. Buck.
This has been a Navy team effort – Fleet and Family Support Centers; chaplains; medical professionals; Morale, Welfare and Recreation offices; child care and youth programs; ombudsmen; CSADD chapters; Navy Safety Center; Navy Personnel Command; Navy Education and Training Command; legal services; and most importantly – the Fleet.
This coming year, because of feedback from the Fleet, we’re introducing interactive, peer-led bystander intervention training. Intervention can make a difference across the entire range of destructive behavior. Intervention and other preventive efforts to deter destructive decisions and behaviors results in more resilient Sailors, better prepared to answer our Nation’s call and take on the various challenges encountered throughout the world, both on- and off-duty.
To meet the CNO’s #1 tenet of “Warfighting First,” we must have Sailors that are ready to be where it matters, when it matters – that’s our goal. I look forward to working with my team and the Fleet to bring all Sailors the policies and resources to make them the most resilient Sailors the Navy has ever known.