USA: Master Chief Petty Officer of Navy Testifies Before Congress on Hazing

Master Chief Petty Officer of Navy Testifies Before Congress on Hazing

Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON)(SS/SW) Rick D. West testified before Congress March 22.

MCPON appeared before the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Military Personnel on Hazing in the Military along with top enlisted leaders from the Marines, Army, Air Force, and Coast Guard to discuss hazing prevention in the Navy and respective military branches.

People are absolutely our most precious asset,” said West. “Their individual success and Navy’s collective mission accomplishment lie in our ability to provide an environment that promotes inclusiveness and a validated sense of value to the team.”

Hazing is not tolerated in the Navy due to its demoralizing and destructive nature to an individual’s self-esteem and detrimental impact on unit cohesion.

“The secretary of the Navy’s instruction on hazing is the cornerstone of our approach to education, prevention, enforcement and accountability,” said West. “Training on hazing, equal opportunity, and core values begins with recruits at boot camp and is reinforced regularly in a variety of forums throughout a Sailor’s service.”

Since 2009, 46 hazing incidents have been reported with 20 of these resulting in punitive, administrative or disciplinary action.

“Navy policy requires Commanders to formally report every suspected incident of hazing to the chain of command as soon as possible,” said West. “Every Sailor has the responsibility to make the appropriate authorities aware of hazing. Those who commit violations of the policy and those in leadership positions who may tolerate such acts are held accountable.”

MCPON pointed to the deck plate leaders aboard the ships and on the ground throughout the Navy as the pinnacle of success or failure of the Navy’s hazing prevention policies and corrective measures.

“We understand people are truly the singular measure of your Navy’s success,” added West. “We appreciate your passionate interest in protecting their welfare and stand committed to meeting your expectations.”

Naval Today Staff, March 26, 2012; Image: navy