ARABIAN GULF – Sailors aboard the amphibious dock landing ship USS Harpers Ferry (LSD 49) attended a training stand-down geared towards raising awareness about alcohol and decision making, Jan. 26.
However, it wasn’t a typical stand-down. The halls of the ship erupted in bouts of laughter followed by a round of applause. This is because the Harpers Ferry’s Coalition of Sailors Against Destructive Decisions (CSADD) created a humorous video, entitled “Billy the Bad Decision Preventer,” to remind their shipmates about the dangers of alcohol abuse.
“The video started out as a parody of the Terry Tate office linebacker commercials,” said Machinist Mate Fireman Dominique Axel, from Douglasville, Ga., a CSADD member and actor in the video. “Everyone in the shop liked the commercials so we made ‘Billy the Bad Decision Preventer’.”
The video is centered on a protagonist named Billy, who loves to work out and take care of his shipmates, played by Engineman Fireman Jesse Johnson, from Ronan, Mont. A group of Billy’s shipmates bring alcohol on the ship and his “bad decision sensor” goes off and his mission is to stop his shipmates and teach them a lesson in responsibility.
CSADD is a Navy peer-mentoring program aimed at promoting good decision-making and leadership development at the junior levels. The program is geared for Sailors 18 to 25 years old, to reinforce a culture of “shipmates helping shipmates.” “When most people see a funny skit, it tends to stick with them more because they relate the funny part in the message,” said Chief Machinist Mate Damien K. Franklin, auxiliary division leading chief petty officer. “CSADD makes a big difference when Sailors see their peers taking the lead.”
The overall message of the video is much like the goal of CSADD to encourage Sailors to make good decisions and, if they drink, to do so responsibly.
“As a leader, I see that they’re getting it. We’re not just talking to a brick wall. You hear the old term, ship, shipmates, self. And, that’s what I saw when I saw this video,” said Franklin.