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Department of Navy Announces Office of Force Resiliency, Commits to Culture Change

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“Force readiness and resilience begin and end with our people,” said Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro. “This rebranding reflects an important modernization in our thinking about the cultural challenges facing our military and is crucial to sustaining an inclusive culture of dignity and respect, intolerant of violence in all its forms. This is an important opportunity to move our service members, their families and DON civilians to the center of our efforts and address these challenges with renewed rigor and emphasis.”  

The portfolio grew significantly in the last several years to encompass various components of force preservation and readiness. The office will continue to confront sexual assault and harassment prevention and response, advocate for survivor-centered policies, and promote resilience and suicide prevention through integrated programs, policies, leadership development and oversight activities.

Research shows that environments that are permissive of sexual harassment, gender discrimination, lack of responsibility and intervention, lack of respect and cohesion and workplace hostility pose a higher risk for destructive outcomes. DON OFR will continue to offer tools, resources, policy, and oversight to address the harmful behaviors and attitudes that erode trust and readiness.

“The DON is making a historic shift from primarily focusing on survivor support to prioritizing prevention of destructive behaviors,” said Andrea N. Goldstein, acting director, DON OFR. “That mission is not going away. In addition, we’re committed to tackling our most pressing cultural challenges, rebuilding institutional trust and setting the conditions for equity, inclusion and Department-wide accountability.”

DON OFR recognizes the intersection of cultural challenges across the Naval services, as well as the solutions needed to build healthier, cohesive teams and a ready force. The office reports to the Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Manpower and Reserve Affairs) and serves as a senior advisor to the Secretary of the Navy on all matters sexual assault, sexual harassment and suicide prevention and response.

The offices’ immediate priorities include: 

  • Confronting sexual assault and harassment by facilitating the Department’s execution of the Deputy Secretary of Defense’s Implementation Roadmap and the sexual assault prevention, response, and accountability reforms contained in the FY22 National Defense Authorization Act
  • Improving resilience and readiness of the total force by identifying suicide prevention best practices and initiatives to support Navy and Marine Corps efforts
  • Establish and integrate primary prevention policies and responsibilities to mitigate self-directed harm and prohibited abusive or harmful acts using a career-cycle perspective to promote enduring force readiness
  • Establishing a public health approach to assessment, selection, and training efforts that promote protective environments, healthy climates, and skill development for healthy relationships
  • Establishing an evidence-informed and evidence-based evaluation framework to assess the efficacy of prevention program interventions
  • Developing leaders and prevention programs that emphasize that our core values should anchor all actions to support a culture of dignity and respect

To learn more about DON OFR, visit: https://www.secnav.navy.mil/ofr/Pages/default.aspx


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