By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Anastasia Puscian, Naval Medical Center San Diego Public Affairs
SAN DIEGO - Naval Medical Center San Diego's Coalition of Sailors Against Destructive Decisions (CSADD) chapter promoted better decision making with a Saving Our Sailors (SOS) obstacle course challenge July 29.
The obstacle course was a fun way to educate Sailors about off-dutyrecreational safety as well as give Sailors an opportunity for friendly competition amongst each other. Sailors formed teams to complete the obstacle course for the best time. The winning team won bragging rights and a $25 gift card.
Event stations included a three legged race, rock climbing wall, an inflatable obstacle course, tire hurdles and a softball toss. The softball toss required the participant to wear goggles that simulated what you see when a person is intoxicated with different blood alcohol content levels.
"The toss showed me that being drunk was not fun," said Hospital Corpsman Apprentice Christopher Cooper, 20, from NMCSD's ophthalmology department. "It was really hard to see. It showed that when I come of age I need to watch myself and watch my limit, I don't want to get to the point where I can't see or move. It showed me that there are other things I can do for fun that doesn't involve alcohol."
CSADD Originated in 2008 at Commander, Navy Region Mid-Atlantic as a peer mentoring social group for junior Sailors as a way to reinforce the Navy's culture of shipmates helping shipmates. The program is targeted for Sailors between 18 to 25 years-old to provide them with the knowledge needed to make smart decisions on that otherwise could lead to career and life altering consequences. As well as provide an additional resource and communication program to encourage positive social interaction and development of leadership and decision-making skills both on and off duty.
"With the type of command that we are, Sailors come in and work their eight hours and go home," said Chief Hospital Corpsman Humberto Palacios, CSADD mentor. "There is so much to do around here besides just drink alcohol. This gives them an outlet to socialize and network and come up with ideas and focus groups for events that don't revolve around alcohol." Even though CSADD focuses on the 18 to 25 age group, the SOS challenge event was open to everyone. Chiefs, petty officers 1st and 2nd classes came out to partake in the SOS challenge.
This was a great morale booster and fun PT [physical training]," said Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Brandy Nealy, 24, of NMCSD's staff and education department.
Each month the main CSADD chapter designates a topic to discuss. NMCSD's chapter structures each month into themed events to make them fun and in a relaxed setting. "More than anything we've done as much as we can do to not make it a death by powerpoint," said Hospital Corpsman 3rd class Adrian Durio, NMCSD CSADD chapter president. "We want to make sure that we inspire Sailors, and let them know who and what their resources are and who they can go talk to."
NMCSD's CSADD chapter launched May 17 2011, and so far has hosted workshops to educate NMCSD Sailors on suicide prevention with an ice cream social and movie event as well as a driving obstacle course to raise awareness on the dangers of texting while driving.
"We want this program to be tailored around mentoring each Sailor so they don't make destructive decisions. We know people make mistakes, no one is perfect we're all human. But the purpose of this program is to elevate that, minimize mistakes and have better outcomes and to learn and grow from the mistakes you made," said Durio.
For more information on NMCSD visit: http://www.med.navy.mil/sites/nmcsd/Pages/default.aspx
For more information on CSADD and refer to OPNAVINST 1500.80: http://cryptome.sabotage.org/dodi/opnav-1500-80.pdf