Your Navy Operating Forward – East China Sea, Mediterranean Sea, Caribbean Sea

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ARABIAN GULF: The guided-missile destroyer USS Jason Dunham (DDG 109), front, is underway alongside the French navy frigate FS Courbet (F712) and a French AS-565 Panther helicopter during a three-week integration of Courbet with Task Force 55. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jonathan Clay/Released)



Right now your Navy is 100 percent on watch around the globe helping to preserve the American way of life. Whether it be operating and training off the coast of Spain or forward deployed to the Arabian Gulf, the flexibility and presence provided by our U.S. naval forces provides national leaders with great options for protecting and maintaining our national security and interests around the world. The imagery below highlights the Navy’s ability to provide those options by operating forward.


PHILIPPINE SEA: An E-2D Hawkeye launches off the flight deck of the Navy’s forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) during exercise Keen Sword 19. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Kyleigh Williams/Released)

SOUDA BAY, Greece: Sailors assigned to the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Carney (DDG 64) pose for a command photo during the ship’s port visit to Naval Station Souda Bay, Greece, Nov. 8, 2018. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Ryan U. Kledzik/Released)

MEDITERRANEAN SEA: The San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship USS Anchorage (LPD 23) transits the Mediterranean Sea, Nov. 5, 2018. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Ryan M. Breeden/Released)

MANAMA, Bahrain: Salvage operations specialists from Naval Sea Systems Command deploy a Class-V ocean skimmer onboard Naval Support Activity (NSA) Bahrain during an emergency spill response demonstration. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Eric S. Garst/Released)

ARABIAN GULF: The guided-missile destroyer USS Jason Dunham (DDG 109), front, is underway alongside the French navy frigate FS Courbet (F712) and a French AS-565 Panther helicopter during a three-week integration of Courbet with Task Force 55. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jonathan Clay/Released)

PHILIPPINE SEA: The aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), left, and the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force helicopter destroyer JS Hyuga (DDH 181), right, are underway in formation with 16 other ships from the U.S. Navy and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) during Keen Sword 2019. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kaila V. Peters/Released)

SOUDA BAY, Greece: The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Carney (DDG 64) departs Naval Station Souda Bay, Greece, following a scheduled port visit, Nov. 8, 2018. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Ryan U. Kledzik/Released)

MEDITERRANEAN SEA: An AH–1Z Viper helicopter, attached to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 166 (Reinforced), flies above the San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship USS Anchorage (LPD 23) in the Mediterranean Sea, Nov. 1, 2018. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Ryan M. Breeden/Released)

ARABIAN GULF: The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Decatur (DDG 73), left, and the U.S. Coast Guard Island-class patrol cutter USCGC Monomoy (WPB 1326) transit the Arabian Gulf during exercise Eastern Sailor 19. (U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Samantha P. Montenegro/Released)

EAST CHINA SEA: The Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Chancellorsville (CG 62) prepares to come alongside the fleet replenishment oiler USNS Tippecanoe (T-AO 199) for a replenishment-at-sea. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Sarah Myers/Released)

PHILIPPINE SEA: The aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), left, and the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force helicopter destroyer JS Hyuga (DDH 181), right, are underway in formation with 16 other ships from the U.S. Navy and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) as aircraft from the U.S. Air Force and Japan Air Self-Defense Force fly overhead in formation during Keen Sword 2019. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Erwin Jacob V. Miciano/Released)

CARIBBEAN SEA: The dry cargo and ammunition ship USNS William McLean (T-AKE 12) conducts a replenishment-at-sea with the hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) to bring on fuel. Comfort is on an 11-week medical support mission to Central and South America as part of the U.S. Southern Command Enduring Promise initiative. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Benjamin T. Liston/Released)

ARABIAN GULF: Gunner’s Mate 2nd Class Brandon Taylor, left, fires a .50-caliber machine gun under the instruction of Gunner’s Mate 1st Class Griffin Vancil during a live-fire exercise aboard the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Jason Dunham (DDG 109). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jonathan Clay/Released)

WATERS OFF THE COAST OF SAIPAN: The amphibious dock landing ship USS Ashland (LSD 48) heads to Saipan for Defense Support to Civil Authorities (DSCA) relief efforts. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Joshua Mortensen/Released)

PHILIPPINE SEA: The Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Curtis Wilbur (DDG 54) cruises in formation with other ships from the U.S. Navy and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) during Keen Sword 2019. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Timothy M. Black/Released)

Tell us which photo best shows YOUR Navy Operating Forward !


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Your Navy Operating Forward – East China Sea, Mediterranean Sea, Caribbean Sea

A Keen Eye on Keen Sword

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By Rear. Adm. Karl Thomas
Commander, Task Force 70

This week, we wrapped up Keen Sword 2019, the biennial exercise with the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force, (JMSDF) or Kaijo Jieitai as they are known in Japan. This exercise is designed to strengthen and demonstrate our commitment to the U.S. – Japan alliance and ultimately increase the interoperability of our forces.

As we prepared for the final maritime strike, I had the opportunity to assist in the targeting of the enemy forces in the exercise from the back end of a VAW-125 Tigertail E-2D Advanced Hawkeye. With nearly 3,000 hours in the back of an E-2C, this was my first opportunity to experience the impressive capability of an E-2D. Hawkeyes have always been the fleet’s eye in the sky, but with the advancements in the new E-2D that eye is much more focused. I watched this radar develop throughout my career from its beginnings on a mountain-top in Hawaii, through a transition to the back of a C-130 test platform, and finally as it became reality in the fleet. It is simply a game changer.

PHILIPPINE SEA (Nov. 7, 2018) Rear Adm. Karl Thomas, commander, Task Force 70, departs an E-2D Hawkeye on the flight deck of the Navy's forward deployed aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) during Keen Sword 2019. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class MacAdam Kane Weissman/Released)
PHILIPPINE SEA (Nov. 7, 2018) Rear Adm. Karl Thomas, commander, Task Force 70, departs an E-2D Hawkeye on the flight deck of the Navy’s forward deployed aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) during Keen Sword 2019. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class MacAdam Kane Weissman/Released)
PHILIPPINE SEA (Nov. 7, 2018) An E-2D Hawkeye launches off the flight deck of the Navy's forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) during Keen Sword 2019. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Kyleigh Williams/Released)
PHILIPPINE SEA (Nov. 7, 2018) An E-2D Hawkeye launches off the flight deck of the Navy’s forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) during Keen Sword 2019. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Kyleigh Williams/Released)

As we walked to the aircraft in preparation for our flight, it dawned on me that I had more years of service than all four young Tigertail aviators combined. To fly with this next generation of warfighters who have the same drive and energy I possessed at their age is exactly why I continue to serve. It seemed like just yesterday I was the young aviator walking to the plane, showing the old guy how the system worked. The young Tigertail aviators manipulated the numerous systems in the back of the aircraft with ease as they fired up one system after another. A talented young E-2D naval flight officer, Lt. Cmdr. Mike “Hansel” Boyle, walked me through the radar functionality, explaining the differences of the APY-9 radar and how it transmits, receives and processes energy. I was like a kid in a candy store as I witnessed on my radar scope what I had only seen in simulators. This system is already making a huge impact on Keen Sword 19 and I couldn’t help but think of the capability and capacity that the recently acquired Japanese E-2Ds would add to future Keen Sword exercises. It all comes down to interoperability; the U.S. Navy and Kaijo Jieitai are an extremely effective team because of the common tactics, procedures and equipment we employ.

PHILIPPINE SEA (Nov. 8, 2018) The aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), left, and the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force helicopter destroyer JS Hyuga (DDH 181), right, are underway in formation with 16 other ships from the U.S. Navy and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) as aircraft from the U.S. Air Force and Japan Air Self-Defense Force fly overhead in formation during Keen Sword 2019. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Erwin Jacob V. Miciano/Released)
PHILIPPINE SEA (Nov. 8, 2018) The aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), left, and the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force helicopter destroyer JS Hyuga (DDH 181), right, are underway in formation with 16 other ships from the U.S. Navy and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) as aircraft from the U.S. Air Force and Japan Air Self-Defense Force fly overhead in formation during Keen Sword 2019. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Erwin Jacob V. Miciano/Released)

Throughout this exercise, ships and aircraft from both of our countries have focused on sailing, operating, flying together and building interoperability so that we can respond as one team if ever needed. Day after day, I watched U.S and numerous Kaijo Jieitai ships protect USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) from attacking exercise submarines, while the striking power of Air Wing Five launched from the deck several times a day to fight side-by-side with the Japanese Air Self Defense Force (JASDF) and U.S. Air Force. This ability to fight with our allies across service lines is simply awe-inspiring. The relationships we build amongst aviators, surface warriors, warfare commanders and senior leaders in exercises such as Keen Sword is the cornerstone of our alliance – an alliance that has ensured regional peace and stability for nearly 60 years.

PHILIPPINE SEA (Nov. 8, 2018) The Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) Murasame-class destroyer JS Kirisame (DD 104) and the JMSDF Hatsuyuki-class destroyer JS Asayuki (DD 132) steam in formation with other ships from the U.S. Navy and JMSDF during exercise Keen Sword 19. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Timothy M. Black/Released)
PHILIPPINE SEA (Nov. 8, 2018) The Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) Murasame-class destroyer JS Kirisame (DD 104) and the JMSDF Hatsuyuki-class destroyer JS Asayuki (DD 132) steam in formation with other ships from the U.S. Navy and JMSDF during exercise Keen Sword 19. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Timothy M. Black/Released)

As I sat drinking a cup of coffee with Rear Adm. Egawa, commander, Escort Flotilla One, while discussing lessons from our current exercise, we reminisced on our experiences as young naval officers. We talked of the ports we had visited, agreed how we could build upon our already strong relationship, and discussed how this partnership would only grow stronger upon our return to Yokosuka, Japan. At one point, we discussed my flight and what I observed, and it dawned on me how that moment really summed up what made Keen Sword special. From the young Kaijo Jieitai and U.S. Navy officers and Sailors flying and sailing together as one to the two senior officers ending the day together over a cup of coffee; exercises like Keen Sword enable us to practice integration so that it becomes simple, routine and highly effective. We ended our meeting with a keen eye to the future, and pondered whether the young aviators who fly our two nation’s E-2D Advanced Hawkeyes would be the catalyst to take Keen Sword 2021’s interoperability to an entirely new level.

Editor’s note: Rear Adm. Thomas is a career E-2C Hawkeye naval flight officer and the commander of Task Force 70, which is based in Yokosuka, Japan.


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A Keen Eye on Keen Sword

Team Navy Competes at 2017 DOD Warrior Games

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Welcome to Navy Live blog coverage of Team Navy at the 2017 Department of Defense Warrior Games in Chicago.

Team Navy is comprised of 36 Sailors and four Coast Guardsmen who are competing June 30 to July 8 against other military teams to compete for gold, silver and bronze medals in archery, cycling, field, shooting, sitting volleyball, swimming, track and wheelchair basketball.

This is first time the Navy has hosted the Games and is the first time they have been held in a public venue since the DoD became involved in hosting the Games in 2010.

Roster Sports Schedule

Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5 Day 6

Follow this blog throughout the Games for the latest on Team Navy.

Day 6 (July 6)

Cycling

Day 5 (July 5)

Field

Day 4 (July 3)

Archery

Day 3 (July 2)

Track

Day 2 (July 1)

Opening Ceremony

Warrior Games Opening Ceremony

It’s time for the 2017 Warrior Games in Chicago opening ceremony with Jon Stewart. 39 Sailors are participating in the Paralympic-style completion for wounded, ill and injured service members in Chicago. Go Navy!

Posted by U.S. Navy on Saturday, July 1, 2017

CHICAGO (July 1, 2017) Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson and his wife Dana Richardson cheer during the Department of Defense (DoD) Warrior Games’ opening ceremony at Soldier Field in Chicago. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Chief Elliott Fabrizio/Released)
CHICAGO (July 1, 2017) Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson and his wife Dana Richardson cheer during the Department of Defense (DoD) Warrior Games’ opening ceremony at Soldier Field in Chicago. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Chief Elliott Fabrizio/Released)

Sitting Volleyball

LIVE NOW: Team Navy competing against United States Air Force in sitting volleyball at Warrior Games, a Paralympic-style competition, against other military branches, the United Kingdom and Australia for wounded, ill and injured service members. Go Navy!

Posted by U.S. Navy on Saturday, July 1, 2017

Rifle

Day 1 (June 30)

Team Navy Kicks Off 2017 Warrior Games

Warrior Games Day 1

The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) Warrior Games got underway today in Chicago.Watch for a look at Team Navy’s competition in shooting, wheelchair basketball and sitting volleyball on Day 1.

Posted by U.S. Navy on Friday, June 30, 2017

Team Navy kicked off the annual Department of Defense Warrior Games June 30 in Chicago, Illinois, with competition in shooting, wheelchair basketball and sitting volleyball.

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Archery

Shooting

Wheelchair Basketball

About Navy Wounded Warrior – Safe Harbor Adaptive Sports and Recreation Program

The mission of the Navy Wounded Warrior – Safe Harbor Adaptive Sports and Recreation Program is to deliver year-round competitive and recreation opportunities for wounded, ill or seriously injured Sailors and Coast Guardsmen. Adaptive sports — athletic activities that are modified to meet the abilities of injured or ill individuals — are essential to the recuperation of our wounded warriors. All enrollees in Navy Wounded Warrior – Safe Harbor are encouraged to make athletics a key component of their recovery and rehabilitation plans. The proven and lasting benefits of adaptive sports and reconditioning activities include higher self-esteem, lower stress levels and fewer secondary medical conditions.

Navy Wounded Warrior – Safe Harbor hosts a series of adaptive athletic reconditioning camps, provides information relative to recreational opportunities and facilitates enrollees’ participation in the annual Department of Defense Warrior Games. Non-medical care managers and recovery care coordinators, along with the transition coordinators, are encouraged to brief all recovering and transitioning service members about adaptive sports opportunities.

Once registered for the sports program, Sailors and Coast Guardsmen are provided with information on all athletic opportunities, including the annual trials where athletes can compete for a spot on Team Navy in the DoD Warrior Games. Participants in the trials include active-duty service members and veterans with upper-body, lower-body and spinal cord injuries; serious illnesses; traumatic brain injuries; amputations; visual impairment; and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Athletes possessing professionalism, team spirit and the best qualifying times and/or scores are selected to compete on Team Navy in the DoD Warrior Games. The DoD Warrior Games represent the culmination of participation in structured adaptive sports and reconditioning activities of wounded, ill and injured service members and veterans throughout their recovery by encouraging participation in physical and cognitive activities, inspiring physical fitness, mental strength and peer support, and encouraging new opportunities for growth and achievement.


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Team Navy Competes at 2017 DOD Warrior Games

Teen Techie, MLB Pitcher Get to the Root of Cyberbullying

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By Katie Lange
DoD News, Defense Media Activity

Cyberbullying is a serious problem thanks to the Internet, social media and anonymity. Which means you should probably not be naïve enough to think your kid hasn’t been exposed to it in some way.

Educators pay close attention to cyberbullying experts at the Military Child Education Coalition's 17th National Training Seminar. DoD photo by Marvin Lynchard

Educators pay close attention to cyberbullying experts at the Military Child Education Coalition’s 17th National Training Seminar. DoD photo by Marvin Lynchard

That was the message at a recent Military Child Education Coalition seminar that featured three very different people who all took action against cyberbullying – lawyer Ken Linzer, former MLB All-Star pitcher Curt Schilling and 15-year-old Trish Prabhu.

You might assume that a 15-year-old was there to discuss her first-hand experiences with cyberbullying, but that wasn’t Prabhu’s case. After hearing about the suicide of an 11-year-old Florida girl a few years ago, she realized current cyberbullying solutions weren’t cutting it. At 14, she created ReThink – anti-bully software that gets to the root of the problem.

As the panel’s moderator said, it’s kind of like spell check with a conscience.

“It’s able to detect when someone tries to post something offensive on social media and then alert them and go, ‘Hold on. Are you sure you want to post that? It could be offensive,’” Prabhu explained. “Then we just give them a simple choice: Do you still want to post it? Because you can. Or do you want to go back and edit your message?”

Prabhu said in a trial involving 1,500 adolescents, 93 percent of kids changed their minds about posting a potentially offensive message when given an extra five seconds to think about it.

“If you’re able to stop the cyberbullying before the posts even go out, you’re not only helping the victim. You’re helping the cyberbully build valuable skills they’ll use on and off social media,” Prabhu said.

Trisha Prabhu, 15, talks about her experiences with cyberbulling and how she's made a difference during the Military Child Education Coalition's 17th National Training Seminar in Washington, D.C.  DoD photo by Marvin Lynchard

Trisha Prabhu, 15, talks about her experiences with cyberbulling and how she’s made a difference during the Military Child Education Coalition’s 17th National Training Seminar in Washington, D.C. DoD photo by Marvin Lynchard

More of her research showed these stats:

  • 52 percent of U.S. adolescents reported being cyberbullied
  • Many involved in the study said they were too afraid to report it, which made the stat, realistically, more like 70-75 percent
  • 93 percent admitted to having seen some type of cyberbullying on social media
  • Only 4 percent of bystanders who have witnessed cyberbullying have spoken out against it

The other speakers at the event were also able to use their experiences to pass parents some useful knowledge. Linzer spent six months prosecuting a cyberbullying case, and Schilling – a three-time World Series winner – dealt with high-profile cyberbullying attacks on his daughter via social media.

Here are some of the important things they said you need to know:

*Kids should talk to their parents about being bullied, but most won’t.

According to Prabhu’s research, 90 percent of kids don’t tell their parents, mainly because it’s embarrassing and likely about something they might have done that mom and dad don’t know about.

*Parents need to be up on what their kids are doing online.

“That’s the new street corner. That’s the park. That’s where the kids hang out,” Schilling said.

Since kids aren’t talking to their parents, parents MUST start the conversation, however awkward it may be. Linzer said to give kids real-world examples of how cyberbullying affects them.

During the annual MCEC seminar, former MLB All-Star pitcher Curt Schilling discusses how his daughter was cyberbullied on social media. DoD photo by Marvin Lynchard

During the annual MCEC seminar, former MLB All-Star pitcher Curt Schilling discusses how his daughter was cyberbullied on social media. DoD photo by Marvin Lynchard

“Involve yourself in their videogaming activities, their social media. Even if they push you away, explain that actions have consequences, that they know you love them, and share a story or two,” he said.

Don’t think they’re NOT being exposed to bad influences and negativity.

“They’re going to make bad decisions and do dumb things,” Schilling said. “Making mistakes is part of life. Ruining other people’s lives isn’t.”

*Anonymity is a big part of the problem. 

Many bullies hide behind this. There are even websites to help send anonymous messages.

Anonymity is also used to dupe naïve kids. Schilling used his teenage son, who is on the autism spectrum and is comfortable on the Internet, as an example.

“He doesn’t grasp the concept that the 15-year-old girl who’s really interested in meeting him is a 40-year-old sex offender in L.A.,” the former pitcher said.

*Blocking cyberbullies doesn’t work.

“We’re making the victim block the cyberbully. We’re putting the burden on them instead of actually attacking the problem at the source, which is the bully,” Prabhu said. “Also, victims are embarrassed. They feel alone. They don’t want to have to block a cyberbully – that’s embarrassing.”

Cyberbullies can also just create another profile or page, and they’re right back at it.

*At the end of the day, the solutions start at home.

Schilling grew up a self-proclaimed military brat.

“I grew up the son of a man who knew the things that the military teaches young men – discipline, respect, honor, integrity, leadership,” he said. “I knew the difference between right and wrong when I was 12 years old. Everybody does. But it doesn’t mean I didn’t say stupid stuff.”

He said his dad instilled in him self-worth and good values, which helped.

“I tell my kids, ‘Do not ever let the opinion of someone you don’t know change who you are.’”

For more resources on cyberbullying, check out Stopbullying.gov.

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Disclaimer: The appearance of hyperlinks does not constitute endorsement by the Department of Defense of this website or the information, products or services contained therein. For other than authorized activities such as military exchanges and Morale, Welfare and Recreation sites, the Department of Defense does not exercise any editorial control over the information you may find at these locations. Such links are provided consistent with the stated purpose of this DOD website.

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Teen Techie, MLB Pitcher Get to the Root of Cyberbullying

Summer Safety

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Story by Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Bryan Niegel, Defense Media Activity

Summertime: my favorite time of the year!!! The time of the year when you can hang out with friends and family outside grilling food and sipping on your favorite ice cold beverage. To me, summertime means a lot of things: toes in the sand, the bright warm sun, pools and beaches.

Additionally, summertime is the time of the year when all the branches in the U.S. military give their safety briefs. If you have never had the pleasure, they are everything you could imagine. It’s typical meeting where someone is standing in front of you lecturing you (usually with a power point in the background) about what you should and shouldn’t do during your leisure time.

 

Photo: Walter Fulton, a contract safety instructor trainer with Cape Fox Professional Services, discusses summer driving safety at the Naval District Washington summer safety stand down at the Washington Navy Yard on May 22, 2013. (U.S. Navy photo by Patrick Gordon/Released)

Walter Fulton, a contract safety instructor trainer with Cape Fox Professional Services, discusses summer driving safety at the Naval District Washington summer safety stand down at the Washington Navy Yard on May 22, 2013. (U.S. Navy photo by Patrick Gordon/Released)

Earlier in my service as a young sailor I used to dread these lectures and wondered why we had to attend them. Most of them were so boring it would be hard to stay awake through the entire brief. As time has went on in my career I have learned that the regulations and guidance you get in the military has sadly been written in blood.

Summer time is a heightened time of year for injuries and even deaths. Service members spend more time outside and in the water participating in activities from sitting on a beach in the sun to taking personal watercraft or motorcycle for a joy ride. These activities greaten the risk of service members of injuring themselves or even becoming a casualty.

To help try to avoid these injuries each service has adapted their own way of getting the message out to play safe.

The Army seems to be ahead of the curve on this…for once (just kidding soldiers, I love all my fellow service members and their associated branches). It seems like they are trying to make this training more enjoyable by implementing games and interactive online videos with informative messages embedded to appeal to the younger (and even some older, mine included) generations love of video games. In the name of research (wink) I tested them all out myself and they’re actually not bad. One even emulated and old favorite of mine (can you guess which one?).

The Navy and Marines are keeping it simple with the standard power points and safety videos.

Air force has a program called The Critical Days of Summer which has a week by week rundown on training for 14 weeks with useful links for more information.

All of the services have a similar message. They want service members to have a good time and enjoy your time off of work, but in a safe manner while still maintaining their core values.

You can view more DoD Summer Safety videos here

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Disclaimer: The appearance of hyperlinks does not constitute endorsement by the Department of Defense of this website or the information, products or services contained therein. For other than authorized activities such as military exchanges and Morale, Welfare and Recreation sites, the Department of Defense does not exercise any editorial control over the information you may find at these locations. Such links are provided consistent with the stated purpose of this DoD website.

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Summer Safety

Army Freedom File Update

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With the war in Afghanistan starting to be controlled by Afghan troops, American troops train them in proper tactics, and techniques to keep them and civilians safe.

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Disclaimer: The appearance of hyperlinks does not constitute endorsement by the Department of Defense of this website or the information, products or services contained therein. For other than authorized activities such as military exchanges and Morale, Welfare and Recreation sites, the Department of Defense does not exercise any editorial control over the information you may find at these locations. Such links are provided consistent with the stated purpose of this DoD website.

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Army Freedom File Update

Women in Service Review Implementation Plans

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[unable to retrieve full-text content]The Defense Department, along with the Army, Air Force, Navy, and Marines have all released their plans for implementing women into positions previously closed to them.
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Women in Service Review Implementation Plans

Living Life with an Exceptional Family Member

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The stresses of military life can be a challenge for Marine families, but it is even more of a challenge for those with exceptional family members.

The Exceptional Family Member Program helps ease the burden on these families by offering resources, support and information to meet their needs.

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Disclaimer: The appearance of hyperlinks does not constitute endorsement by the Department of Defense of this website or the information, products or services contained therein. For other than authorized activities such as military exchanges and Morale, Welfare and Recreation sites, the Department of Defense does not exercise any editorial control over the information you may find at these locations. Such links are provided consistent with the stated purpose of this DoD website.

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Living Life with an Exceptional Family Member

Town Hall Held on Social Media

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Lt. Gen. Sam Angelella held a Facebook town hall, answering questions from service members and families in Japan.

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Disclaimer: The appearance of hyperlinks does not constitute endorsement by the Department of Defense of this website or the information, products or services contained therein. For other than authorized activities such as military exchanges and Morale, Welfare and Recreation sites, the Department of Defense does not exercise any editorial control over the information you may find at these locations. Such links are provided consistent with the stated purpose of this DoD website.

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Town Hall Held on Social Media

Midshipmen Shine Light on Life as Military Kids

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Photo: Navy full back Noah Copeland rushes during the 113th Army-Navy game at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pa., Dec.8, 2012. The Navy won 17-13, extending their winning streak against Army for the 11th straight year. D0D Photo by Marvin Lynchard

Navy full back Noah Copeland rushes during the 113th Army-Navy game at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pa., Dec.8, 2012. The Navy won 17-13, extending their winning streak against Army for the 11th straight year. (D0D photo by Marvin Lynchard/released)

Story by: Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Bryan Niegel, Defense Media Activity

Edited by Erin Wittkop

As we wrap up “Month of the Military Child,” I would like to reflect on the unique lives of military kids. Military children come from all walks of life and make a pretty fantastic contribution to our country as a result of their unique experiences.

These kids are faced with some major life challenges beginning at young ages. They have to deal with being separated from their parents for extended periods of time, not knowing if their mom or dad is safe, frequent moves and an ever-changing social landscape as they enroll in new schools and work to make new friends. Whether their parents joined after their birth or they were born to active-duty military parents, military kids own life stories begin to branch out in new and worldly ways the moment their parents don a uniform.

I recently had the chance to interview a few military children whose lives have been shaped by their parents’ service. They aren’t your average military kids, though; these “children” are students attending the United States Naval Academy and are players on the Navy Midshipmen football team.

These three athletes grew up as military children, yet came from different backgrounds and established their association with military life at different junctures in their lives.

“My dad wasn’t always gone but he left to Korea when I first started playing flag football; that was kind of hard. As a young kid you really don’t understand why your dad left,” said Midshipman Noah Copeland. “I didn’t understand anything he did until later on when I grew up.”

When Copeland was old enough to realize what his dad was doing and why he grew to have a greater admiration for his father and what he did for the family.

“Seeing my dad wake up early and come home really late, working those long hours just to provide for us, made me appreciate him more. Looking at it now [and reflecting on the person I’ve become], I appreciate him a lot more for everything that he did [to help me get where I am today].”

Coming from a different background and part of the country, Midshipman Shakir Robinson was a little different.

“I caught the tail end of my dad’s military career” Robinson said “[As a result of his military background,] my dad expected higher standards of me.”

Even though he had only spent a few years as a military child he still came out with a strong sense of respect and high expectations for himself, qualities that most would find exceptional for a person his age. I noticed this difference during the interview. Robinson carries himself with a poise that alludes to the reverence with which he regards service, duty, tradition and helping others. His teammates had it, too.

“It’s made me have a greater respect for people in the military,” Robinson added. He is inspired by the level of love that service members have for their country and the personal sacrifices that they are willing to make like being away from their families during deployments.

With a little more time as a military child, Midshipman Joe Cardona’s dad had to miss special occasions while he was going up.

“It was hard not having him there for football practices and sports practices. My mom was real strong; she just made everything normal for us,” Cardona said.

Despite the fact that his dad wasn’t always there for practices and events, Cardona still holds his dad in the highest regard.

“My military hero would be my dad. The way he balanced his military career with raising a family, I think that is something that I will always treasure and something that I will take as an example to try to set and to follow,” said Cardona.

After speaking with these military kids and soon-to-be service members, I have found a new respect for military children. There are not many kids in the world that have to deal with the unique stressors that military kids do and it’s amazing to see how resilient they become as result of it all. The strong bonds that they forge with their families and the values that they hold dear are awe inspiring.

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