By Ryo Isobe, FLEACT Yokosuka Public Affairs
YOKOSUKA, Japan – Yokosuka Ship Repair Facility and Japan Regional Maintenance Center (SRF-JRMC) facilitated a series of leadership discussions with supervisors under the Master Labor Contract (MLC), Dec. 16 and 18, 2015. Participants including senior leaders, group masters, foremen, division heads, branch heads, and section heads attended the briefings at Commander Fleet Activities Yokosuka’s Fleet Theater.
During the discussion, SRF-JRMC Commanding Officer Capt. Garrett Farman reminded supervisors of SRF-JRMC’s guiding principles and briefly introduced the 2016 Strategic Plan.
“We want to ensure that our employees are equipped with necessary tools, processes, training and systems to perform their work,” said Farman. “We also would like to ensure that employees work in a harmonious environment.”
Farman then gave the floor to SRF-JRMC Legal Counsel and Attorney James McLaren, who spoke about power harassment.
“Traditions help new members of groups become involved with the group and promote harmony and a sense of belonging,” said McLaren. “However, hazing is the imposition of strenuous, and/or humiliating tasks as part of an initiation. Hazing is power harassment.” The sessions were conducted to raise awareness should such incidents ever occur.
McLaren also cited incidents that happened in Yokohama, where supervisors harassed employees and the supervisor’s higher-ups did not step in to stop the harassment. He emphasized sometimes those who engage in such behaviors are unaware they are committing harassment.
“The behavior that was acceptable 25 years ago is now unlawful,” McLaren added. “SRF-JRMC wishes to support its leadership with the right tools and skills necessary to have a successful workplace. By bringing the subject of power harassment to light, the supervisors and leaders can ensure that such behaviors are not tolerated within the command, thus creating a safe and pleasant working environment.”
Commemorating Sailors’ feats, bravery and significant accomplishments is an integral part of the U.S. Navy. While the U.S. Navy has customs and traditions of rite of passage, they should never be hazing. Hazing is contrary to the Navy’s Core Values of Honor, Courage and Commitment.
In order to prevent hazing, the Navy enforces a policy, which was established in 2005, on the prohibition of hazing. If an incident is substantiated, it must be reported. Any perpetrator of hazing in the U.S. Navy may be charged with a criminal offence.
“Capt. Farman recognizes the supervisors’ challenging roles and responsibilities in ensuring employees put forth honest effort in their duties and refrain from counter-productive conduct,” said SRF-JRMC Command Support Division Head Alicia Akashi, who coordinated the event. “He also emphasizes the importance of supervisors leading by example. When we [supervisors and leaders] model the highest standards of ethics and enforce our command policies, we demonstrate our commitment to a safe and healthy work environment that is free of harassment and discrimination.”