Shipmates, like you, I joined the world’s greatest Navy to serve others before myself. This service requires sacrifice and living our life by a set of higher standards and principles. It requires a level of toughness and resilience that demands living our core values and Navy ethos every day. I believe your commitment to our nation and service in the Navy deserves an environment free from bias, harassment and any form of sexual violence. To that end, we will work together to rid our Navy of these behaviors that erode unit cohesion, degrade mission readiness and prevent you from becoming the best version of yourself.

Starting with me, I will live our Navy core values, demonstrate Signature Behaviors and foster a Culture of Excellence every day. I will protect those in my charge from sexual violence, ensure effective prevention measures and victim care and response are in place and guarantee swift and decisive justice to those who would do harm to my shipmates.

Commanders shall follow my lead inside their commands and cultivate environments that foster trust, connectedness and professionalism. They shall live the Navy’s core values, demonstrate Signature Behaviors and build a Culture of Excellence inside their sphere of influence. There is no greater duty than to care and protect those in your charge, so each Commander will implement an effective Command Resilience Team and Human Factors Council, that will monitor and aggressively shape command climate, implement sexual assault prevention and stamp out behaviors that are counter to Navy core values, before they become pervasive. Finally, I expect Commanders to protect victim confidentiality and protect victims from retaliation and re-victimization and to properly train Victim Advocates and watch teams to professionally respond to victims in crisis.

This policy reinforces my commitment to countering destructive behaviors and sexual violence. Respect, trust and connectedness between our shipmates is key to mission and individual success. Our leaders must protect those in their charge and shipmates must look out for one another and live up to higher standards and principles as Naval professionals. The nation has never needed our Sailors more than today, your service and sacrifice demand a professional and safe environment to grow, lead and be successful. I will do my part, together, lets end sexual violence and aspire to be better than we were yesterday.

S. J. PAPARO

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