USA: Assistant Secretary of Navy Visits Tri-base Florida Georgia Area

Assistant Secretary of Navy Visits Tri-base Florida Georgia Area

Assistant Secretary of the Navy (ASN) for Manpower and Reserve Affairs (M&RA) conducted town hall meetings aboard Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay, Ga., Naval Station Mayport, Fla. and Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Fla. April 10-11.

Juan M. Garcia III addressed more than 1,000 Sailors and Marines from the combined tri-base area during town hall meetings where he discussed topics such as the enlisted retention boards, tuition assistance and the 21st Century Sailor and Marine initiative.

“There is no reason to believe the operational tempo our Sailors and Marines have lived and operated under, the impact and sacrifice for them and their families for the last ten years is going to change,” said Garcia. “We want to take all those existing personnel support programs, those in development and some new initiatives, bring them together in one group to ensure every Sailor, Marine and their families have the tools they need to ensure they exceed and excel in the coming decade.”

The 21st Century Sailor and Marine initiative has five core areas: safety, physical fitness, inclusion, readiness and continuum of service. Though Garcia addressed each of these topics, he focused on those initiatives that highlight the importance of sexual assault awareness.

“Our leadership, our khakis, our chief’s mess, and our wardrooms will receive training to ensure their commands operate in an environment where there is no stigma to raising your hand and pointing out a susceptibility,” said Garcia. “A susceptibility or an area of potential threat or danger to another Sailor or Marine.”

Cmdr. Roy Love, Afloat Training Group Mayport commanding officer, said the town hall sent positive messages that helped many Sailors and Marines rest some of their concerns they had in regard to their careers in service.

“It lets us know our leadership cares and they’re looking out for our best interest,” said Love. “The Sailors and Marines have a great opportunity to talk to the people who make the decisions that affect them and their futures.”

Chief Naval Air Crewman (NAC/AW) Curtlynn Harris, an instructor from Patrol Squadron (VP) 30, said his Sailors were delighted to hear that the Enlisted Retention Board would not return.

“I think the information was excellent, it put out some of the angst, a lot of people had questions about the ERB and Sailors just want to know what the future holds for them in the Navy,” said Harris. “We went over it all as far as benefits and pay, retention, education, families and benefits, everything.”

The 21st Century Sailor and Marine initiative consolidates a set of objectives and policies, new and existing, to maximize Sailor and Marine personal readiness, build resiliency and hone the most combat-effective force in the history of the Navy and Marine Corps.

Naval Today Staff , April 13, 2012; Image: navy