In this file photo, Adm. Cecil Haney speaks with Sailors aboard the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) in May. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class James R. Evans)

PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii - Adm. Cecil D. Haney, commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, has directed all his commands to conduct a standdown to "Stamp Out" Sexual Assault. Active duty units must complete the standdown by Dec. 14 while Reserve units have until Jan. 28.

In a Nov. 28 message to all Pacific Fleet Sailors, Haney called for a "frank and open" two-hour long discussion to focus on leadership expectations while garnering "deckplate input" on how to prevent sexual assaults.

"I am proud that the vast majority of Pacific Fleet Sailors are outstanding citizens who work hard to make the communities where they work and live a better place," said Haney. "That is why I need your help in making this an all-hands effort to prevent sexual assaults."

Haney also emphasized how irresponsible behavior by a few troublemakers ultimately affects the Pacific Fleet's ability to deter conflict and maintain a stable and secure Asia-Pacific region.

"Not only is sexual assault a crime that is incompatible with our Navy Core Values, it also negatively impacts our most important mission of warfighting readiness," he said. "Our readiness is predicated on the working relationships forged among sailors and with our partners around the world. One instance of poor personal judgment in the workplace or on liberty can put these crucial relationships and readiness at risk."

The standdown to discuss sexual assaults is part of a larger Pacific Fleet effort announced earlier this month by Haney to encourage "shipmate intervention" to prevent destructive behavior.

"Admiral Haney and other Navy leaders have put a lot of thought into the best way to reduce sexual assaults, alcohol-related incidents, spice use and suicides," said Pacific Fleet Master Chief John Minyard. "It is up to all of us to take ownership of these destructive issues while having an adult conversation about how the excessive use of alcohol is a key factor. While there is no magic solution to completely eliminate destructive behavior in our ranks, we all believe a whole-of-command approach is essential."

Minyard and Haney both believe that Pacific Fleet Sailors are up to the challenge.

"This is an opportunity for every Sailor, down to the deckplate level, to be a leader by preventing shipmates from making terrible decisions," said Haney. "The power of the proactive majority can make a difference, and with your help, I am confident that we will succeed in stamping out sexual assaults in our Navy."