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NEWS | Jan. 28, 2015

Seoul-Based Sailors Embrace Resiliency Programs during Readiness Summit

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class (SW/AW) Frank Andrews Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Korea Public Affairs

Seoul-based Sailors participated in a Personal Readiness Summit held at the base theater and the Dragon Hill Lodge at U.S. Army Garrison Yongsan, Jan. 26-27.

The training seminars covered a variety of Sailor resiliency topics ranging from physical readiness, stress management, sexual assault prevention and response (SAPR), drug and alcohol abuse prevention, suicide awareness, to the leader's role in creating a healthy command climate.

Rear Adm. Lisa Franchetti, commander, U.S. Naval Forces Korea, provided opening remarks for the summit and stressed the importance of involvement at all levels of command leadership.

"Participation and support for resiliency programs must come from all levels of the chain-of-command," said Franchetti. "It's very important that we have input from both our senior and junior Sailors, so that we understand each other's unique perspectives in these important areas, and we can help our Sailors and their families not just survive, but thrive."

The summit began with remarks from stand-up comedian, Bernie McGrenahan, who gave a personal testimony of his struggles with drug and alcohol abuse and the loss of his brother due to a suicide.

"I use stand-up comedy to develop a relationship with the audience," said McGrenahan. "Then I segue into some of my personal experiences growing up with alcohol and partying, some of the trouble I got into, and the road it took me down."

"Every Sailor, Every Day" is this year's summit theme, which focuses on peer connections and personal responsibility. The training reinforces the ongoing Sailor resiliency approach of encouraging members of the Navy community to reach out to each other and take meaningful actions to promote cohesion, build trust, and help fellow shipmates thrive in the face of adversity.

"The training we did today was different from the norm," said Navy Counselor 1st Class Michael Knight. "It kept us focused on the issues and topics because Bernie McGrenahan gave his personal life examples with alcohol abuse and how it affected him and his family members."

Sailors also heard from various program managers and facilitators of resiliency programs from the OPNAV and U.S. Pacific Fleet staffs. The summit's interactive training format enables leaders at all levels, from senior officers to junior enlisted members, to share best practices, lessons learned, and to ask questions about resiliency programs and the development of future initiatives.

"I think it's great to have these Navy facilitators out here in Korea to talk with us face-to-face," said Yeoman 2nd Class Kyle Graves. "It's been good to ask them tough questions in an open forum like this one. They heard our stories and received our input about the current policies and we learned more about how to utilize these programs to take care of our shipmates."

The Navy facilitators for the Personal Readiness Summit will continue their outreach to Korea-based Sailors Jan. 29-30 at Commander, Fleet Activities Chinhae where they will meet with more than 150 Sailors assigned to the installation and associated tenant commands.

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