An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Home : Media : News : News Article View
NEWS | March 23, 2023

SECNAV Challenges DON Leadership to Champion Navy-Marine Corps Resilience, Readiness

WASHINGTON -- Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV) Carlos Del Toro hosted a Department of Navy (DON) Resilience off-site March 17 with senior Navy and Marine Corps leaders to discuss opportunities and identify action items that will promote well-being, improve quality of life, advance integrated prevention, and increase warfighting readiness Department-wide.

The discussion occurred a day after Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin released a Department wide memo on suicide prevention in the military.

“As Secretary Austin said, ‘Our most precious resource is our people and we must spare no effort in working to eliminate suicide within our ranks. We must do everything possible to heal all wounds, whether visible or invisible, and we must do away with the stigmas on getting help,'” Del Toro said. “This is a critical leadership issue and today's off-site provides us an opportunity to exchange ideas on mental health, suicide prevention, and upstream factors, such as quality of life.”

Throughout the day, the DON Office of Force Resiliency (OFR) facilitated discussion with nationally recognized experts in mental health and wellness, suicide prevention, and lethal means safety. This provided DON military and civilian leaders a forum for advancing strategies to enhance quality of life, safety, and connection, and further suicide prevention efforts.

Through personal narratives, presentations and panel sessions, attendees considered leadership approaches that promote mental health literacy, healthy climates and lethal means safety, and examined national efforts that could inform the Department’s resilience and suicide prevention strategies.

“Strengthening our naval forces requires active and engaged leaders who foster cultures of safety and connectedness to promote quality of life and service. We must also facilitate access to mental healthcare, lethal means safety, and postvention,” said Andrea N. Goldstein, Acting Director, DON OFR. “Leadership development on this subject is continuous. We need to rebuild institutional trust, increase support and resiliency, and educate our leaders on how to build connection, care for team members, have tough conversations, and promote positive attitudes regarding mental health and wellness. These behaviors start with us.”

Junior Sailors and Marines were also invited to participate in discussions about mental health and force resiliency.

Session speakers included Mrs. Teri and Mr. Patrick Caserta of the Brandon Caserta Foundation; Mr. Ross Szabo of the Geffen Academy at the University of California, Los Angeles; Dr. Jerry Reed of the Suicide Prevention and Response Independent Review Committee; Ms. Terri Tanielian, the Special Assistant to the President for Veterans Affairs; Mr. Brett Bass of the Washington State Safer Homes Lethal Means Task Force; and Dr. Jeff Sung of the University of Washington.

SECNAV charged leaders to champion efforts to develop, promote and model the behaviors that will strengthen the readiness and resilience of the services.

“Commit to learning more about mental health and suicide prevention and the role we respectively have in advancing quality of life, mental health and suicide prevention efforts,” said Del Toro. “Suicide and other destructive behaviors, aren’t singular, they don’t just impact the individual, but instead ravages though a ripple effect and touches every single one of us. We must shift the focus from existing barriers to solutions and reinforce innovative ways to talk about mental health and it starts here. A unique forum the first of its kind, where we lean into one another’s expertise.”

Off-site attendees included the Under Secretary of the Navy, the Assistant Secretaries of the Navy, the Chief of Naval Operations, the Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps, the Surgeon General and Chief of Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, the Chief of Chaplains, the Chaplain of the Marine Corps, the Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy, the Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps, and senior representatives of Navy and Marine Corps manpower branches and family and education programs.

Like Us
Follow Us



Exercise Crocodile Response Concludes, Increasing Readiness in the Indo-Pacific
U.S. Marines with Marine Rotational Force – Darwin 23, Australian Army Soldiers, and Indonesian National Armed Forces, pose for a group photo during the closing ceremony for Exercise Crocodile Response 23 at Mount Bundey Training Area, Northern Territory, Australia, May 24, 2023. Crocodile Response is a trilateral engagement between the Australian Defence Force, Indonesian National Armed Forces, and MRF-D that extends shared interoperability throughout the Indo-Pacific, increasing efficiencies in responding to crisis and contingency. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Adeola Adetimehin)
June 5, 2023 - DARWIN, NT, Australia --Alongside Allies and partners in the Indo-Pacific region, Marine Rotational Force – Darwin (MRF-D) stands ready to provide Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HA/DR) to those in need. In a...

U.S. Indo-Pacific Commander Travels to Singapore, Attends Shangri-La Dialogue
SINGAPORE (June 3, 2023) Adm. John C. Aquilino, Commander U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, attends the keynote address by Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III at the Shangri-La Dialogue, hosted by the International Institute for Strategic Studies. The Shangri-La Dialogue is a defense summit focused on the Asia-Pacific region where ministers and representatives gather to discuss pressing security challenges and engage in bilateral talks. USINDOPACOM is committed to enhancing stability in the Asia-Pacific region by promoting security cooperation, encouraging peaceful development, responding to contingencies, deterring aggression and, when necessary, fighting to win. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Shannon M. Smith)
June 5, 2023 - Adm. John C. Aquilino, Commander U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, visited Singapore on an overseas trip June 1-5, 2023, where he met with senior military and government leaders and participated in the Shangri-La Dialogue.Hosted by...

USINDOPACOM Statement on Unsafe Maritime Interaction
June 3, 2023 - In accordance with international law, USS Chung-Hoon (DDG 93) and HMCS Montreal (FFH 336) conducted a routine south to north Taiwan Strait transit June 3 through waters where high seas freedoms of navigation and overflight...

7th Fleet Destroyer Transits Taiwan Strait
Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Chung-Hoon (DDG 93) sails ahead of the Halifax-class frigate HMCS Montreal (FFG 336). USS Chung-Hoon is on a routine deployment to U.S. 7th Fleet and is assigned to Commander, Task Force (CTF 71)/ Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 15. CTF 71/DESRON 15 is the largest forward-deployed DESRON and the U.S. 7th Fleet’s principal surface force.
June 3, 2023 - Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Chung-Hoon (DDG 93) and Royal Canadian Navy Halifax-class frigate HMCS Montreal (FFH 336) are conducting a routine Taiwan Strait transit June 3 (local time) through waters...

Trilateral talks enhance cooperation between the Philippines, Japan, and U.S.
SINGAPORE (June 3, 2023)  General Yoshihide Yoshida, Chief of Staff, Japan Joint Staff (JJS), Gen. Andres Centino, Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), and Adm. John C. Aquilino, Commander U.S. Indo-Pacific Command,  held the fourth AFP-JJS-USINDOPACOM Trilateral Leaders' Engagement on the margins of the International Institute for Strategic Studies’ 20th Asia Security Summit, also known as the Shangri-La Dialogue. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Shannon M. Smith)
June 3, 2023 - Adm. John C. Aquilino, Commander U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, Gen. Andres Centino, Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), and General Yoshihide Yoshida, Chief of Staff, Japan Joint Staff (JJS), held the...