MILLINGTON, Tenn. -- Why do Sailors drink alcohol? What can the Navy do to prevent excessive drinking? Do existing alcohol abuse prevention strategies and messages affect Sailors decisions?
These are some of the questions the Navy Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention Office (NADAP) asked more than 700 Sailors across the country last year in an effort to develop its newest campaign launched this month, "Keep What You've Earned."
"We recognized the need for an innovative strategy aimed at promoting responsible drinking among Sailors," said Dorice Favorite, NADAP Director. "So we conducted interviews, focus groups, and an online survey to gain a better understanding of Sailors' personal drinking habits and how alcohol consumption is perceived in the Navy as a whole."
Results from the research showed that 18- to 24-year-old Sailors want to be treated like adults.
"In view of that, the 'Keep What You've Earned' campaign acknowledges that all of our men and women are accomplished Sailors capable of making responsible drinking decisions," Favorite continued.
With the slogan "You've Earned It, Don't Waste It," the campaign promotes responsible decisions by focusing on how much Sailors have accomplished during their careers with the Navy-therefore highlighting how much they have to lose.
"The majority of Sailors we spoke with listed loss of pay, rank and other privileges as the most significant consequences of alcohol abuse," Favorite said, discussing the decision to focus messages on the achievements in a Sailor's career. "These consequences not only impact Sailors' individual careers but threaten the overall force readiness of our Navy."
NADAP offers three suggestions to Sailors to have fun and drink responsibly:
1. Plan ahead for a safe ride home.
2. Don't try to "keep up" with your friends or shipmates.
3. Know your limit, before you get there.
Sailors from the Jacksonville-Mayport-King's Bay, Fla. region will also be featured in campaign materials and had the opportunity to provide feedback on a poster series reflecting five fleet communities: aviation, expeditionary, medical, submarine and surface.
"We had an overwhelming response of enthusiasm from our Sailors when we requested their help, as they were grateful to take part in the development of such an important effort," said Cmdr. Jay Clark, USS Roosevelt (DDG 80) executive officer. "It was great to see how the campaign's imagery represented each of the unique roles our Sailors serve in as part of the Navy, from medical corpsmen to aviation pilots."
Favorite said the campaign could not have been developed without help and cooperation from across the fleet, and NADAP looks forward to engaging Sailors as partners in creating a culture of responsible drinking in the Navy.
"This is truly a campaign for Sailors, by Sailors," Favorite said. "We travelled across the country to hear your ideas, and we're excited to bring them to life through our materials and messages."