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New rules issued for sailor evals and fitreps

Aug. 28, 2013 - 06:00AM   |  
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Your action — or inaction — regarding hazing, sex assault and harassment can make or break your next eval or fitrep. Good idea? Why or why not? Email responses to navylet@navytimes.com.

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Sailors just got another reason to take care of their shipmates: If you don’t, it’ll be marked against you on your evaluation.

To score top marks on an evaluation or fitness report, officers, chiefs and sailors must contribute to a work climate that deters the fleet’s most pernicious foes — sexual assault, hostility and hazing — according to new rules released Wednesday by the chief of naval personnel.

“This is just the next logical step in addressing the cradle-to-grave approach to dealing with the issue and ultimately the accountability aspects of behavior issues,” said Vice Adm. Bill Moran, who made this one of his first changes since taking the job in early August, in a phone interview Wednesday.

Two eval blocks, command climate and military bearing, “will be used to show how each sailor reinforces a climate where sexual harassment, sexual assault, hazing, discrimination of any kind, and other inappropriate conduct is not tolerated,” states NAVADMIN 216/13 , released Wednesday.

“Those blocks can be used to report those sailors who are contributing in a very positive way, going above and beyond the norm, and they could also be used to account for those who’ve had issues with any of the behavioral norms that we don’t find acceptable within the Navy,” Moran said.

The rules do not alter the eval format. Indeed, these trait categories exist and already should have been used to record command climate issues, good or bad; the new guidance just makes that explicit. Moran said this is part of the all hands effort to stamp out sexual assault and hazing and that the rules are effective immediately.

To be sure, the guidance stays non-specific about what to report or not report — and that was on purpose, officials say, stressing that this responsibility belongs to leaders across the fleet.

“I don’t have specific examples of things that I would expect the COs to write on,” Moran said. “I think I need to leave it to them to use their own judgment on what those incidents or issues or the specific actions that they want to highlight in fitness reports and evals.”

The eval changes come a month after other steps to combat sex assault in the ranks. The service is restricting when and where alcohol can be sold on base, hiring more civilian counselors and investigative agents, and ordering all commanding officers to brief their bosses on command climate survey results, periodic surveys that ask questions about the command’s prevention training and support for sexual assault victims.

The new eval rules are in-line with those changes, officials said.

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