Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines “step up” as a means to succeed in meeting a challenge – the theme for USS HOPPER (DDG 70) Life Promotions Team’s first event of 2020.
With the support of Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam Gym and their Personal Trainers, an exercise circuit was designed around “stepping” challenges ranging from air squats to box jumps. Operations Specialist Third Class Naomi Finchum stated, “We wanted to choose a phrase that resonates with everyone. We are facing a real challenge when it comes to suicide in the military and across the veteran ranks and we want everyone to “step up” and do their part.”
Sailors that participated signed a Declaration stating that they will “step up” and help a struggling person, and that if they were personally going through a rough time would “step up” and ask for help. HOPPER’s Commanding Officer, Commander H. R. Agard emphasized, “When you sign this declaration, that is not just for your time onboard Hopper, it is for your time as a Shipmate. Being a Shipmate transcends even when we take the uniform off and transition out of the Navy, we are still Shipmates. You still may be called upon to “step up” for somebody.”
The event was live streamed on Facebook and reached more than 5,000 viewers that were encouraged to leave their name and the Life Promotion Team would sign the Declaration on their behalf. Hospital Corpsman Third Class Grant Cook stated, “The more people we can reach the better. The way we put it out made the event not just for USS Hopper but for as many people we could reach. And that was the goal, to get everyone to “step up.”
Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam USO provided lunch for the Sailors after the event. Together, we came together to ensure the Navy’s Suicide Prevention Program goal to minimize suicide risk by enhancing Sailor psychological health and resilience to fortify a mission-effective force through unrelenting individual and team responsibility and prevention practices. That leaves just one question, will you “step up”?