Thursday, December 12, 2013

Holiday Safety at Home

Greetings Shipmates,
I hope you are all enjoying the holiday season. 

Over the past month, I have written about travel safety and the dangers of driving under the influence, however, there is one other area I would like to highlight and that is holiday safety at home.   

When preparing for the holidays, think about what you are doing. According to the National Fire Protection Association, 30% of all home fires and 38% of home fire deaths occur during the months of December, January and February. Help minimize your risk by planning in advance, practicing good situational awareness and using common sense. 

Properly working smoke and fire detectors are an essential part of a safe holiday. Make sure to change batteries once a year and check to ensure they are in good working order.
Familiarize yourself with how to put out a kitchen fire and ensure your fire extinguisher inspections are up to date.

Get your chimney checked before lighting the first fire of the season and make sure the vent is open for the smoke to escape.

Christmas trees and lights pose another fire risk.  When attempting to string lights together, make sure you are not exceeding the number of strings recommended on the box. Also, use the right kind and number of extension cords and surge protectors and refrain from running extension cords under rugs, as this is the cause of many electrical fires.

It should go without saying you should never leave a burning candle unattended, but you should also make sure you keep your space heaters away from trees and flammable objects.  

Lastly on a personal note, at one of my previous commands, a young Sailor lost his entire home during the holidays due to improper use and placement of a turkey fryer.  If you must use a fryer, don’t place it close to structures or on the deck and never, ever place a frozen or partially thawed turkey into the oil.

Make sure your home is safe this holiday season.  Think about what can go wrong, how you can prevent it and what you would do if it happened anyway.  Prepare, pay attention to what you are doing and use common sense.  A little common sense can go a long way in keeping you safe throughout this holiday season. 

Have a safe and happy holiday!


Monday, December 2, 2013

2013 Holiday: Driving/Travel Safety

Last week, I discussed the importance of drinking responsibly and alternatives to getting behind the wheel. Over the next few weeks, the highways will be filled with people so plan your trip accordingly and keep safety in mind.  When it comes to the holiday season, weather is always a concern, especially if you are heading to places up North or in the upper Mid-West.  Be realistic about your vehicle’s condition, how far you’re going and who’s driving. 

I am well aware the desire to see loved ones can make driving 14 hours in one day through ice and snow seem like an acceptable risk.  It’s not. Fatigue or drowsy driving WILL affect your reflexes and judgment even if you don’t fall asleep and drive off the road.   Plan for rest stops, more than one driver and make sure you get enough sleep BEFORE hitting the road both to and from your destination.  Better yet, if you’re traveling a long distance, take a train.  You’ll be able to relax and travel safely and at a reasonable cost.
Next week, I will discuss another important safety-related area: cooking and decorating.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

2013 Holiday: Responsible Drinking

The holiday season is fast approaching and if you are one who marks its arrival by the shop displays or the holiday music already playing in some drugstores, the “Season of Giving” is already here.  

Many of you have finalized your Thanksgiving plans and are looking forward to time with friends and family, and it’s no secret that the Thanksgiving weekend is the biggest traveling weekend of the year.   Now throw in the numerous ways you can cook a ham and fry a turkey, add the afternoon beer and football, and top it off with the post-Thanksgiving celebration desire to “deck the halls” in a manner that does credit to Chevy Chase’s National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, and you can see why it’s important we stop for a moment and talk about safety, and appropriate risk management.  

It’s vital to the health and well-being of our Force that we all put meaningful thought into assessing the risks and potential hazards in our holiday preparations, and that we ensure our Shipmates are doing the same.  Every one of you is too important, not only to me and the Navy Reserve as a whole, but to your families and friends as well.  We want each and every one of you to stay healthy and alive during this holiday season. 

Everyone is responsible for the decisions they make from top leaders on down to our newest Sailors, and while there are times when accidents and incidents happen, we all have to the 
power to make decisions to mitigate the risk of accident or injury.

First, let’s talk about alcohol-related incidents.  During the holiday season we are bombarded with images of happy revelers at perfectly staged holiday events with the must-have alcoholic drink in their hand.  If you go by the alcohol industry’s aggressive marketing campaign, a party is not a party without a glass of Disarrono over ice.  You’re not really watching football unless you have ice-cold Coors Light straight from a glacier or have a Bud Light in one hand while expertly whipping your Terrible Towel above your head in the other.  There’s no denying the pressure is there.   But, we are all capable of putting controls in place to ensure we drink responsibly.  Know your limits, use the buddy system and look out for each other.  When you see your friend has had too much to drink, say something.  If you’re hosting a party, have a plan for taking car keys. Ensure your guests are eating and pay attention to how much they’re drinking and their overall state.  You are responsible and you do have the obligation to ensure everyone who attends makes it home safely.

There’s no excuse at any time, for any Sailor to get a DUI.  There is ALWAYS another option to avoid getting behind the wheel when you’ve had too much to drink.  There are many safe ride programs throughout the country to assist you if you need a ride.  Nothing is worth getting behind the wheel if you’ve had too much to drink.  Each command and unit should be emphasizing this and communicating alternatives to drinking and driving.  It’s not worth it!


Friday, October 25, 2013

Navy Reserve Force Chaplain: On Keeping Faith, Appreciating Others and Staying Connected

About the Guest Blogger:
In the spring of 2001, Chaplain Timothy Lantz reported as Deputy Force Chaplain of the Naval Reserve Force (as it was named then) located in New Orleans, La.  Among very few “regular Navy” personnel assigned, he quickly became very impressed by the professional skills and dedication of all the folks: military and civilian—SELRES and FTS—who make up the Navy Reserve and bring so much to the total Force.  Subsequent tours at OPNAV, MARFORRES and Navy Region Southeast have only served to deepen his respect for the entire Navy Reserve Family.  Captain Lantz has since returned to Navy Reserve Forces Command as Force Chaplain.

As I write this, funding to support ADT, AT and even IDT drills, which was recently unavailable for 16 days due to the federal government shutdown, is opening back up. But even so, many Sailors are experiencing higher levels of stress as a result of the sudden cancellation of orders, delays in drill periods and financial strain.
I recommend three things for each of us to do during these times of uncertainty: Keep Faith, Appreciate Others and Stay Connected.

Keep Faith.  This includes praying for our civilian government leaders, our senior military officials and each other.  It also means trusting that the well-being of our military is of paramount importance and concern. A strong, reliable and flexible Navy is essential to our Country and, in past decades, the Reserve Component has proven to be of great value.  Your contribution to the Total Force has never been more appreciated by the Active Component or more recognized by the American public and Congress. Have faith that your service as a Reserve Sailor is and will be necessary for the strength of our Total Force and is appreciated.

Appreciate Others.  Take a moment to consider the efforts and sacrifices others are making. Tell them how much it means to you. This is a great way to give them a lift and will give you one as well.  Though we may often hear the phrase, “Thank you for your service!” it means much more when it comes from someone who really knows, from personal experience, what we do and how our families support us. Thank each other and your families. We all serve and we all need to feel appreciated.

Stay Connected.   As you resume training, lend assistance, encourage your Shipmates and support your leaders. Make a promise to build a stronger, more cohesive unit through camaraderie. Renewed opportunities for your service and the service of the total Force will come. Your ability to connect to your unit and commands will go far toward preparing the Reserve Force to meet whatever new challenges lie ahead.

Your incredible resilience and your ability to overcome whatever challenges and obstacles come along make the Navy Reserve a proven, trusted and reliable part of the greatest Navy in the world. But in times of stress, especially in times of stress, we all need a lift. Take care of each other, your family and yourself. The Chaplain Corps is always here to listen should you want to talk.

May God continue to bless each one of you and our Navy…and may God Bless America with victory and peace.

Chaplain Timothy Lantz

Monday, September 30, 2013

Facing the Fiscal Challenges Ahead


I’m sure you have all felt some of the effects of sequestration. But, with the new fiscal year comes even greater financial challenges for the Navy and Navy Reserve Force. This year, we face a Continuing Resolution of uncertain duration. It will be an all-hands effort to maintain mission readiness and continue to provide the operational support the Fleet has had over the past decade.

We need to be creative on how we resource this support by maximizing AT, ADT and drills to report for duty at your supported commands. First, the FY-14 Annual Training budget is funded at a similar level as last year. I assure you, if you plan your AT within the published timeline, you’ll get to perform AT. Other types of funding, such as active duty for training (ADT), inactive duty training travel (IDTT) and additional drills may be reduced during the dynamic year ahead.

So what does that mean for the Navy Reserve and the support we provide the Fleet? In a nutshell, we have to place greater importance on how we plan and prioritize the use of our available training days throughout the year. Where we go and how we use our duty days must be determined by mission priorities and critical training requirements. Active or inactive duty is performed for two reasons: readiness training or operational support. Readiness training includes schools, exercises and on the job training with an Active Component command. These types of orders can be funded using AT, ADT, ADT Schools and additional drills. For annual training orders, priority is given to billet training requirements.

Funding for operational support training is distributed to the Active Component to prioritize and execute. We foresee limitations on ADT funds this year, and are taking a conservative approach until a budget is passed. I ask our CO’s and the Sailors who man their units to maintain mobilization readiness while ensuring supported commands fulfill mission requirements to the max extent possible. As you request orders, choose the training wisely to get the most “bang for the buck.”

Navy Reserve Sailors are an essential component of the Navy Total Force. I am often told by commanders they could not do their jobs without the knowledge and skills you bring to the fight. So I am asking you to help me, and the Fleet. We want your suggestions on how best to fulfill Reserve requirements using modern business processes. If you have any suggestions, we’d love to hear them!


Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Going Beyond the Statistics


We’re expanding our attack on suicide. Meaning, we’re going beyond all of the programs and training in place and looking more closely at the environmental factors that enable people to complete suicides. What we’ve discovered is that easy access to lethal means is the number one risk to someone with suicidal ideations. While this issue has been politicized in recent discussions by society at large, what we want are results, so this is an analysis of fact without regard to ideology.

Building awareness and resiliency, and providing readily available crisis care are proven methods of reducing the number of suicides, but these only take us so far. We’ve made a dent in the number of suicides DoD-wide, but even one is still too many.

Let’s look at the statistics. According to a University of Houston study of 153 survivors of nearly lethal attempts made by young people, approximately 70 percent of suicides occur within one hour of thought and 24 percent occur within five minutes. So the overwhelming majority of suicides happen soon after contemplating the act. Next, take into account that 74 percent of individuals who complete suicide showed no signs of mentally illness before the act.  Finally, approximately 75 percent of suicides in the military are committed with firearms and two-thirds of those are not issued by the military. These are statistics that get my attention. 

The easy availability of the means to commit suicide plays a significant role. Many suicides are the tragic result of a temporary mind set combined with easy access to a firearm.  

I’m not advocating for changes to laws dealing with the sale and background screening required to purchase a gun. The topic of this post is the difference shipmates and loved ones can make by taking action when an individual is troubled.  With the statistics above in mind, doesn’t it make sense to acknowledge the potential threat early and take the necessary action to avoid an irrevocable decision later?  We encourage bystanders to intervene and ask for the car keys from those incapacitated by alcohol.  Why shouldn’t a shipmate or family member sit down with a Sailor in serious distress and discuss limiting access to firearms if they are present in the home?  Come to an agreement to temporarily store them off-base, on base or lock them down.

Simply being honest with ourselves and acknowledging our lives may be in turmoil is the first step. The next step is to be responsible and limit access to your guns until your situation returns to normal. It may be the next day, it could be a month – only you and your loved ones know. But removing the threat just in case things go from bad to worse, as happens in life, is not only being responsible, it’s being smart.

Our challenge is to raise awareness of the option to limit access and let our shipmates know there is no shame in admitting their life stressors have accumulated to the breaking point.  Suicide is never the answer and the impact on the loved ones left behind is disastrous.  It’s time to stamp out the scourge of suicides from our Navy.


Tuesday, September 10, 2013

September is Suicide Prevention and Awareness Month

Greetings Shipmates,

September is Suicide Prevention and Awareness Month.  As you well know, this is a topic which affects all of us, and unfortunately, is an event that happens too often in our Armed Forces and in our communities. Even one loss of life is too many, and today I want to talk to you about what we can do, as leaders, peers, Sailors and friends, to prevent this tragedy from happening. 

We are engaged in an active campaign to prevent our Sailors from taking their own lives, and I do believe that our communications and training on suicide prevention and suicide awareness is having an effect.  Some of you might have noticed an increase in the number of service members reporting depression, hopelessness and suicidal ideation.  Does this mean more people are having thoughts of suicide than in the past?  Or does it mean that more people are coming forward and talking about it?  I believe it is the latter.

It tells me that more people are asking questions and really looking at their Sailors, and that our Sailors are more likely to ask for help when they are experiencing emotional and psychological turmoil.  We have experienced a cultural change in how we perceive suicide, depression, overall mental health and the effects life events have on a person. 

We have not been able to pull that common thread that indicates a person’s true mental state.  There is no perfect list, or flow chart, or recipe of factors you can use to predict with certainty whether or not someone will take their own life.   
What we can do is pay attention.  We can ask questions and we can intervene and get that person help.  We need to help that person get beyond the situation, because, in most cases, the psychological state of that person is temporary.  It’s a decision made in a temporary frame of mind with permanent consequences.  But, if you can get a person past that moment, then you have given them a chance to get the help they need.   

We have the power and resources to prevent suicide, but we must all be engaged.  Know your people, know what’s going on in their lives and make sure they know that you care.  Promote the resources we have, such as our regional Psychological Health Outreach Program (PHOP) representatives, and encourage each other to speak up when you or someone else is experiencing depression, despair or thoughts of suicide.    Together we can foster a climate where people get the help they need, so they can be around to experience the opportunities of the future. 


Thursday, August 29, 2013

Investing in Leadership Training 365 Days a Year

Greetings Shipmates, and congratulations to all of our new Chief selectees!  While I know the next few weeks will be challenging, I'm sure that you will find the training rewarding and will continue to work hard to serve our Sailors and the Navy Reserve.

It is important that we always strive to improve ourselves, our Sailors and our Force.  Our Selected Reserve Sailors in particular face logistical and time-based challenges, yet you always manage to perform and succeed.  The concept behind the CPO-365 training program, to provide meaningful leadership training year-round, is one we are already on board with.

There is value in making leadership training an integral part of everything we do. I believe this approach is nothing new to the Navy Reserve.  You impact your Sailors every time you interact with them.  You influence and teach them during every drill weekend, training evolution and during mission operations.  If the tremendous job you are already doing is any indication, I know you will continue implementing this program with success.
It is vitally important to our Force that we train and mentor the Sailors who will be the future of our Navy Reserve year round.  Our Sailors need to be prepared to step in to the shoes of their leaders and execute the mission.  We need competent and confident leaders throughout all ranks and to accomplish that, we must be committed and dedicated to developing those leaders at every opportunity and every occasion.

We also need our leaders to have the knowledge and resources to provide the right guidance and direction to their Sailors. Our Sailors must know and our rich heritage to appreciate it - our timeless traditions and the names of the men, women and conflicts that brought us to where we are today.  The CPO 365 program is designed to offer that. It is a guide to ensure the right people share their knowledge, experience and our Navy heritage on a regular basis.

So congratulations again to our newly selected Chiefs. My words to you are to remain humble, and to always do the right thing . and after those anchors are pinned on, go back and continue to train and develop the next generation of leaders.


Monday, July 15, 2013

Take a Stand Against Sexual Assaults


This week I want to address a topic that I hope, by this point, you are all familiar with, DoD’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR) program.  By now everyone in our Reserve Force should have received the mandatory two-hour SAPR training or have a plan to complete it by the July 22 deadline, which is fast approaching.

I am well aware of the challenges in adding another training requirement to your already full drill and training schedules.  But it is imperative that we make this a priority and that we have 100 percent participation and completion.

But, I don’t want you to think this training is just a check in the box.  This problem and its effect on our communities, families and in our Navy Reserve are very real and we must attack it on all fronts.  In fiscal year 2012, there were a total of 726 reports of sexual assault in the Navy.  Notice I said reported – as many of you are aware, sexual assault is still considered one of the most underreported crimes.

ONE sexual assault is too many.  It is our job, our duty and our moral obligation to attack this issue from all sides.

Participation in this stand down is another step in that direction. This is not the GMT on sexual assault that we’ve all seen before; it is a powerful presentation on the causes and effects of this unacceptable behavior.

So I urge you all to make sure that you and your Sailors make it to the next SAPR stand down in your area. If you’re unsure of time and location of the brief, contact your NOSC’s SAPR representative.

Let’s protect our shipmates and stop this crime from occurring in our force.



Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Taking Care of Those Who Take Care of Us

I have a good news story I’d like to share with you. During my recent visit to RCC Southwest I was able to visit the resilient men and women recovering from injuries at our Medical Hold (MEDHOLD) unit at Naval Base San Diego. There were 24 Sailors assigned to the unit, 19 who had been mobilized in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.  The remaining five Sailors incurred injuries while on Active Duty for Training orders.
These Sailors were an inspired group of individuals, each working diligently to bounce back from their injuries. They were also benefitting from several recent program changes that are having a positive impact on their lives. These included increasing the geographical boundaries for liberty, allowing portions of their convalescent leave to be spent at their homes of record and increased advocacy throughout the pay and personnel process which can be very daunting for a Selected Reserve Sailor.
Most importantly, however, has been the drastic reduction in patient’s average length of stay. Through diligent efforts of MEDHOLD OIC CDR William “Java” Coffey and staff, the average stay is down from more than 300 days to just over 200, an approximately 40 percent reduction. The MEDHOLD staff was able to reach these reductions by streamlining the medical board process that makes the ultimate determination on the status of these Sailors, effective case management and creating an environment conducive to wellness.
It’s these examples of determination and innovation that speak to the character of our Navy Reserve force. I’d like to hear about any similar examples you may have of your organization achieving extraordinary results.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Swamp Testing Your Network

I recently had the pleasure of traveling to Johnstown, PA to observe the United States Naval Academy Concrete Canoe Competition. A team of midshipmen spent a semester designing, fabricating and constructing a canoe built entirely out of concrete. Four other top engineering universities also entered the competition held at the Quemahoning Reservoir, just south of University of Pittsburgh Johnstown campus, the hosts for the event.
Each team had to pass a "swamp test" where they fill their canoes with water and test to ensure each craft has positive buoyancy. Following endurance and sprint races are held with different crew compositions.
Why do I mention this academic capstone event in a Navy Reserve blog? Well the academic instructor who has led the team for six straight years is a recalled Navy Reserve Sailor, CDR Angela Schedel. She is a Master Instructor in the Department of Naval Architecture & Ocean Engineering at USNA, and commits extensive amounts of time guiding the teams through every phase of boat design, build and competition.
It turns out that she is one of 30 Reserve officers currently on three-year recall orders to the Academy. The USNA accepts Reservists with at least a master’s degree to fill teaching positions in any number of departments, from Computer Engineering to English. The Academy website puts out available positions around Labor Day each year.
This demonstrates the diversity in our Selected Reserve population.   We have a pool of talented, educated Selected Reserve officers the Naval Academy can draw upon to satisfy short term or emergent academic instructor requirements.  These officers can be accessed without incurring any long term financial obligations once they return to their drilling status.  It’s a win-win for Navy.     
Amazing opportunities like these exist throughout the Reserve force, and often times it is simply a matter of being in the know. How do you stay in the know? Be engaged, network and develop your personal and professional relationships. If you don’t have a mentor, get one. If you’re not mentoring someone, reach out to a junior who shows potential and establish that relationship. These friendships and contacts are always rewarding in more ways than one, and may result in your landing in a great position somewhere that you never expected.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Recognizing our WWII Veterans


I want to share with you a truly inspiring and humbling experience I had during a recent trip to the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. I had received an invitation from a World War II veteran in my hometown to come to D.C. and meet him and a group of veterans who were visiting their Memorial for the first time, all thanks to Honor Flight New England. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Honor Flight Network, it’s a national organization that brings World War II veterans to see the World War II Memorial.

I have to tell you, this program is something very special. I had the privilege of shaking hands with nearly all of those brave men and women as they saw their memorial for the first time. For me, it was a chance to recognize these patriots while connecting to the heritage and legacy of the men and women we refer to as “The Greatest Generation.”

During the tour I was able speak with many of the veterans and their families. One of the veterans I met was a woman who had worked at the Personnel Processing Center in Philadelphia. In my conversation with her, and in my conversations with other veterans, the pride they took in their service was very evident.

These men and women considered it their duty to sign up and were volunteers. Additionally, of the more than four million Navy personnel who served during the war, nearly 50 percent of those Sailors were from the Navy Reserve. These men and women and the service they gave is part of our history. We have a connection with these veterans and I see those same traits in the members of our present Reserve Force.

The core values we hold sacred today - of honor, courage and commitment - are aligned with the values of our World War II veterans. It is important that we recognize their service and sacrifice. They are our last living link to the experience of that historic war, and unfortunately, we lose more and more of them every day.

If you have the chance to volunteer for an Honor Flight trip, please do so. I guarantee it will be a rewarding experience. And, when you meet a veteran of World War II – take the opportunity to speak with them, listen to them and thank them for their service and sacrifice.


Monday, April 1, 2013

Year of the Military Woman

Each year during March we look back on the accomplishments of women in American history. In the Navy Reserve we are fortunate to have many women, both serving and retired, who are able to share their experiences and provide insights into their accomplishments and challenges.
This year’s observance is even more significant following the recent rescission of the restrictions on women in combat and the ramp up of women’s service aboard our submarines. As we celebrate the role of women in our Navy’s history, it’s easy to rattle off a list of notable “firsts,” or contributions. Take for instance, Lt. Cmdr. Barbara Allen Rainey who became the first female Naval aviator in 1974. Capt. Joy Bright Hancock became the first director of the Navy’s female Reserve program in 1942, and was the first female Naval officer to obtain the rank of Lt. Cmdr. A groundbreaker in every sense of the word, Hancock became the director of the Women Accepted for Emergency Volunteer Service (WAVES) in 1946 and founded Naval Aviation News magazine, which is still in circulation today. In 1917, Loretta Perfectus Walsh enlisted in the U.S. Naval Reserve to become the first active-duty Navy woman, and the first woman to serve in a non-nursing capacity in ANY of the armed services. She went on to be the first Chief Yeoman in the Navy as well.
While we can imagine the type of courage and determination it must have taken these women to serve back then, the truth is that the women in uniform today, the women who serve in the Navy Reserve and in all branches of service, embody those same characteristics. They possess the same spirit of determination, strength, perseverance and passion for serving their country as their predecessors.
This April the U.S. Navy Memorial will launch its exhibit, “Year of the Military Woman,” and the Naval Heritage Center will feature historical and modern photographs in addition to original artwork and recruiting posters from military collections, as well as uniforms and other rare artifacts.
Also, if you haven’t had the opportunity to read it yet, our CNRFC Public Affairs LCPO, MCC Sarah Langdon, wrote a great feature in the March TNR on the Navy Reserve’s unofficial women’s historian, retired YNCS April Maletz. Senior Chief Maletz, a remarkable woman and Sailor in her own right, has been a tireless steward of Navy women’s history and memorabilia.
Please share your Women’s History Month celebrations with us. We’d love to see your pictures and hear about what your commands and units did to recognize the contributions of women to our Armed Forces.
Take care and keep up the great work!


Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Reconnecting through Returning Warrior Workshops

“In grateful recognition of your extraordinary service in protecting freedom around the world. Our nation is and will remain indebted to you for the personal sacrifices you and your loved ones endured while you were called to duty in support of Overseas Contingency Operations.”

Those words, so carefully chosen, are on the certificates of appreciation presented to Returning Warriors at the Returning Warrior Workshop (RWW) they attend as part of the reintegration process following deployment.  I recently had the opportunity to attend one of the RWWs this past weekend February 22-24, in Portland, OR.  I found those words very compelling, but I was even more moved by the eloquence of the words found on the certificate presented to family members.

“When your Sailor was called to leave home and join the mission required of them from Sea to Land, you, too, were given a mission. It was a mission that would require more of your strength, will and resilience than can ever be tangibly measured or adequately honored.”
One of the main purposes of the RWW is to honor our Sailors and their families for their sacrifice.  If it weren’t for the families who provide support and take care of the home front, our Reserve Sailors couldn’t do what they do so well. And while tears of joy accompany most homecomings, working to reconnect after a long absence can be challenging. 

For any Warrior who has found this to be true, there are resources. The RWWs offer a highly beneficial break-out session entitled “Couples Reconnecting” which is designed to give couples the opportunity to learn communication techniques that allow them to express their feelings while trusting they’re being heard. This “reflective listening” tool is also used by couples at the Chaplain’s Religious Enrichment Development Operation’s  (CREDO) Marriage Enrichment Retreats.  The resources available provide tools that increase Warrior and family resilience through the mobilization/deployment process, during the reconnecting phase, and after. 

If you are a Returning Warrior or spouse or a child who serves without a choice and without a voice, I want to personally thank you for your sacrifice and I strongly encourage you to take advantage of the resources you’ve so valiantly earned. I’m also interested in your experiences and feedback of our RWWs and retreats. Please share them!
For more information and dates on upcoming Returning Warrior Workshops, visit:

For more information on CREDO or to reach a Chaplain, visit: call 1-855-NAVY311 (1-855-628-9311). 

Thursday, February 7, 2013

On Our Fiscal Challenges

The fiscal situation today is challenging for all federal agencies, including the Department of Defense. We are coming up on a decision point, however, and I wanted to take this opportunity to give the force an idea of where we're at now, and where we could be in a few months.  I know you have probably read a few general scenarios in terms of how the continuing resolution (CR) and sequestration may all play out on the Navy at large but I'd like to focus on impacts to the Navy Reserve.

Drill days and AT are statutory, and should remain available for all SELRES Sailors.  Discretionary ADT funding should remain stable but may be reallocated to address changing active component requirements. As a Reserve Force, we will be able to continue to execute our core mission of delivering strategic depth and operational capability to the Navy, Marine Corps and Joint Forces.

FTS and civilian travel, civilian personnel hiring and some aviation functions will be impacted, but we've already taken DoD-wide action to help soften the potential blow.  All nonessential travel and conferences have been suspended.  On the CIVPERS side, a hiring freeze has been put into place.  The Naval Air Force Reserve will see a reduction in maintenance budget and flying hours.  While CNAFR will be able to meet its high priority operational tasking, we will begin to develop a backlog of aircraft awaiting depot-level maintenance as we defer those bills.  I would like to point out that Selected Reserve travel to gaining commands has not been curtailed.  This type of travel will not be directly impacted by sequestration and it is important you continue to support your active component gaining command during turmoil of the coming months.

While these reductions will have some impact on our capability, we're confident we will be able to tighten our belts to get through this intact with minimal mission degradation.  As our leadership in Washington works hard to pass legislation to prevent these measures we must be prepared to act if they are unable to meet the looming deadline.

I ask you all to work with me to conduct our mission as efficiently and effectively as possible without sacrificing the safety and well-being of you and your fellow Sailors. 



Thursday, January 24, 2013

Active Duty Looking for a Few Good Reservists

Shipmates, as a result of manning needs in the active component of the Navy we are offering Reserve Sailors in specific rates an opportunity to transfer to active duty permanently. If you’ve ever thought about making the jump from wearing the uniform part-time to full-time, this could be your chance to make that happen.
We began the RC to AC program in November, rolling out Phase I with around 500 active duty billets available. We are now on Phase III of the program and it has expanded now to offer more than 1,200 billets to more than 20 different rates. As the AC manning needs increased they have turned to us as their first choice for qualified Sailors.
This should come as no surprise to anyone who’s been affiliated with the Reserve over the last ten years. Since Reserve integration began in earnest , RC Sailors have become more skilled and gained more experience as each of you have become more tightly interwoven into AC operational planning. The close working relationships you’ve developed mean that, in an operational environment, no one can tell the difference between an AC or RC Sailor.
The confidence that AC community managers have in your abilities and experience is a testament to the quality of Sailor in today’s Reserve. I couldn’t be prouder of our force, and hope that those who qualify consider this opportunity to take their service to the next level.