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You've Earned It—Don't Waste It. Drink Responsibly

You've worked hard for your career as a Sailor. Not everyone is eligible for Navy service, and even fewer are capable of enduring the physical and emotional challenges of being a Sailor. From boot camp to advancement exams, job training and deployments, you have met these challenges with hard work, sacrifice, and dedication.

Making responsible drinking choices is an extension of that dedication. Just one bad decision while drinking alcohol can jeopardize everything you've earned. Sailors involved in alcohol incidents face serious consequences, including:

  • Loss of rank or pay
  • Separation from the Navy
  • Civilian consequences, such as fines and jail time

Think Before You Drink

Irresponsible drinking not only threatens your health and career, it threatens the Navy's ability to be mission-ready. However, there are a few simple steps that you can take to be smart if you chose to drink alcohol:

  • Plan ahead for a safe ride home.
  • Don't try to "keep up" with others.
  • Know your limit, before you start.

How do you know when enough is enough?

Alcohol abuse is a pattern of drinking which results in harm to one's health, relationships or ability to work.1 Warning signs that you may be drinking too much include:

  • Anger and/or depression
  • Not realizing the amount of alcohol you consume until it's too late
  • Not being able to stop drinking once you start
  • Poor judgment and risk-taking
  • Confused thinking
  • Difficulty remembering details or events
  • Slow reaction time and reflexes
  • Distorted vision and blackouts

Keep What You've Earned

Being an advocate for responsible drinking is a duty of every Sailor in the fleet. Together we have reduced the number of alcohol related incidents and DUIs by almost half over the last five years.2 By drinking responsibly, you can continue to help bring these numbers down and keep your shipmates safe and mission-ready.

The Navy’s flagship responsible drinking campaign, "Keep What You've Earned," actively engages all levels of Navy personnel as advocates for responsible drinking.

Spread the Word

As a trusted peer, you have an opportunity to take a more proactive role in helping your shipmates and friends make responsible decisions. One way that you can promote responsible drinking among your shipmates is by sharing messages and tips via your social media channels. Download the Keep What You've Earned social media messaging for suggested posts, or visit the campaign's Flickr account to share images and graphics directly to your command's social media pages. You can also share why you choose to drink responsibly by using #DrinkResponsibly or #KWYE. In addition, review the alcohol-related messages in the Weekly Leadership Messaging for use at briefings and other appropriate forums.

The safety and well-being of our Sailors is the Navy's top priority. We must all work together to create and maintain a responsible drinking environment, remind our shipmates of their accomplishments and encourage positive decisions regarding alcohol. For more information on how you can support the Navy's efforts to encourage responsible drinking, visit

1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Alcohol and Public Health. Frequently Asked Questions. Updated 18 October 2016.

2. Navy Personnel Command. Navy Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention.

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