the problem is serious enough, such as an incident that
could be a violation of the UCMJ, inform your
supervisor even if the situation requires confidentiality.
Then ensure the problem gets to the proper level within
the chain of command for proper action.
Apply common sense in the handling of any
problem, whether your own problem or a subordinates
problem. You can then reach a proper solution that is
best for all concerned.
In this chapter we discussed some of the Navys
programs in support of equal opportunity and drug and
alcohol abuse prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation.
The thousands of hours and millions of dollars
invested in the pursuit of equal opportunity over the past
decade reflect the Navys total commitment to equal
opportunity (EO). During that time, the Navy has
focused firmly on the principle that individual
achievement should be limited only by ability and
New Navy programs make EO a more integral part
of leadership and management. Command managed
equal opportunity focuses on the prevention of
discriminatory incidents before they occur. Commands
assess themselves as often as needed to problem-solve
and to develop their own plans of action to correct any
deficiencies. Commanding officers have the
responsibility to ensure their commands take the
initiative to make equal opportunity a reality for all naval
As a senior petty officer, you have the responsibility
to maintain good order and discipline. Therefore, you
must know the possible punishments for discriminatory
practices. Since you will complete and file investigative
report chits, you must also know the rights of the
The history of drug abuse proves that it has a
destructive effect on society. However, some people
defend the use of drugs, even if they have decided not
to try drugs themselves. They say people have a right
to use drugs if they wish, regardless of the law. Others
look the other way, saying it is none of their business.
Some are afraid to say anything about it at all.
What about the older generation that warns about
drugs but then uses alcohol? Those people may wish
the y had never started using alcohol and want to save
the younger generation from the pain and anguish they
Over 800,000 die annually from heart disease and
strokes, nearly one-fourth of which are caused by
alcohol. Over 50,000 die each year in automobile
accidents, over half of which are caused by drunk
driving. Why build up similar statistics on drugs too?
Why not be smarter and seek to have along, healthy life?
How can anyone defend marijuana by saying it is
no worse than alcohol? Alcohol is now the nations
number one drug problem. Why develop another drug
problem that is equally as bad as alcoholism?
One argument in favor of drugs is that hallucinogens
expand the mind. Actually they produce illusions and
distortions. They cause the senses to distort reality so
that mental work becomes more difficult-or even
impossible. Why not face reality so that problems can
Some have said that stimulants increase your mental
abilities-more alert for tests, more zip for athletics, and
so forth. Actually, they draw on the bodys reserve
energy. Using stimulants too much will exhaust your
mind and body. Why not find your capabilities by
natural means? That way, what you do will really be
your own accomplishment.
Some have said that depressants slow the world
down and make problems smaller. Actually, they slow
the abuser down, not the world. They dull the abusers
senses and make the abuser less effective-less able to
respond to normal demands and emergencies. Isnt it
silly to think that by not caring, you will either solve
problems or make them go away?
Many people say that trying just once never hurt
anyone. That is not so. The law makes few exceptions
for the first error. Most addicts started by trying just
once. Why should you think you are smarter or luckier
than those other poor souls who got hooked?
Is drug use in your command none of your business?
How can that be so when it involves criminals and
criminal acts and affects the security, safety, and good
health of you and your shipmates? Are you concerned
that your life may be endangered by some drunk or
doped-up person the next time you drive your car on the
street? The Constitution does not give lawbreakers the
right to deprive law-abiding citizens of their health and
Remember this too-the consequences of drug abuse
may greatly affect your career in the Navy. Under
military law, drug abuse is conduct prejudicial to good
order and discipline. Abusers will be disciplined at
Captains mast or tried by courts-martial. Such cases