The Coalition of Sailors Against Destructive Decisions (CSADD) chapter aboard forward-deployed amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) is teaching Sailors how to make smart decisions on liberty and providing opportunities for junior Sailors to lead.
CSADD's national mission statement is, "Create a culture in which our Shipmates are helping Shipmates maintain a course of success through good decision making." The program is designed to provide young leaders, ages 18-25, an opportunity to lend a helping hand while cultivating a culture of support at a chapter's individual command.
Bonhomme Richard's chapter of CSADD is developing programs to help achieve these goals through bi-weekly meetings and several Sailor based events.
"We hope to make Sailors think twice about every decision they make; from the way they handle themselves in the work place to the next drink they buy at the bar," said Yeoman 3rd Class Daniella Barboza, CSADD's president.
The goal of each CSADD chapter is to establish an open dialogue amongst junior Sailors about problems at the command and discussing what they can do to solve the problems. Each month features a nationally selected theme to help direct the conversation. March's topic is Navy nutrition.
"It's all about Shipmates helping Shipmates. The monthly training is coming from us, the junior Sailors, to help mentor our peers," said Barboza. "It's nice that we have the senior Sailor support but everything the organization does is developed by junior Sailors."
These topics and meetings allow junior Sailor's voices to be heard within their upper chain of command. Many of Bonhomme Richard's senior leadership have taken an active interest in the program and make it a point to attend meetings to provide feedback.
"It's great to see well-rounded individuals wanting to make a positive impact on the command," said Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Fuels) 1st Class Marchello Roberts, a CSADD senior enlisted advisor. "The level of involvement around the command has greatly increased from two months ago and that is a direct reflection of the junior Sailors that have taken ownership of the organization."
Another service CSADD provides is researching and developing alternative activities for junior Sailors to engage in outside of consuming alcohol. So far, Bonhomme Richard's CSADD has organized community service events, utilized the ship's 1MC announcing system to inform Sailors of events happening in the area, and have started developing MWR co-sponsored events for Sailors to engage in.
"We have two meetings every month that are meant to educate Sailors about our monthly topic an continually maintain an open dialogue about problems around the command," said Barboza. "CSADD would like to challenge all junior Sailors and Marines to step up and lead their peers by example."
Bonhomme Richard ARG is currently conducting joint force operations with the embarked 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations.