War on Terrorism

Monday, September 27, 2010

Expeditionary Leaders Participate in Operational Stress Control Training

By Chief Mass Communication Specialist (AW/SW) Essex D. Moore III, Navy Expeditionary Combat Command Public Affairs

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (NNS) -- Officers and senior enlisted Sailors from Explosive Ordnance Disposal Group 2 participated in Operational Stress Control (OSC) Training for Operational Leaders, Sept. 23.

The fourth and final session of the six-hour pilot course was conducted to further the chief of naval operations' goal to change the mental health culture in the Navy.

According to Capt. Lori Laraway, Navy OSC coordinator and course facilitator, the training is part of a Navy initiative to reinforce the importance of OSC at all levels of Navy training, from boot camp to the Navy War College.

"Everyone experiences stress," said Laraway. "Too much over a long period can have negative, lasting effects."

The Navy's OSC program was developed by the Navy and Marine Corps Public Health Center to provide leaders with tools to help mitigate the negative effects of stress, and to highlight the importance of identifying and dealing with stress issues at the deckplate level.

The training focused on raising awareness and giving simple tools to operational leaders to help them understand and recognize the indicators of stress.

"I think the Navy's come a long way in identifying stress indicators," said Chief Intelligence Specialist Kirk Deleonardo. "Many Sailors coming back from places like Afghanistan and Iraq experience very stressful environments. The training will help me be aware and notice things that are different about them on a day-to-day basis."

For many, the highlight of the training was the leadership panel during which leaders volunteered to be open and honest in sharing problems they have had and how they dealt with them. It emphasized a leader's commitment to Sailors, families and overall command health.

"The training helps us recognize potential problems and symptoms and shows us how we can go about correcting them," said Cmdr. Dean Muriano, commanding officer of Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit 6. "I hope my leaders gained knowledge on what to look for, and that there are assets and resources available to seek additional care and treatment."

For information on handling stress and building resilience, go to http://navstress.navy.dodlive.mil.

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