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Equal Opportunity

Hazing Policy

My policy requires all members of this organization to conduct themselves in a manner that is professional at all times. No member of the Pacific Submarine Force may engage in hazing or consent to acts of hazing being committed upon them. Hazing is contrary to our Core Values of Honor, Courage and Commitment. Adherence to Core Values by our Sailors and Civilians is central to our Pacific Submarine Force’s ability to meet our global mission. These values have served us well during war and peacetime.

Hazing degrades and diminishes the ability of victims to function within their unit. Hazing destroys our members' confidence and trust in their shipmates and is destructive to unit cohesion and combat readiness. Every member of the Pacific Submarine Force must be afforded the opportunity to be a productive and contributing member free of hazing and its ill effects. Hazing is not part of our "time honored traditions" and it has no place in the modern Navy.

Per SECNAVlNST 1610.2A, hazing is defined as any conduct whereby a military member or members, regardless of service or rank, without proper authority causes another military member or members, regardless of service or rank, to suffer or be exposed to any activity which is cruel, abusive, humiliating, oppressive, demeaning, or harmful. Soliciting or coercing another to perpetrate any such activity is also considered hazing. Hazing does not need to involve physical contact among or between military members; it can be verbal or psychological. Actual or implied consent to acts of hazing does not eliminate the culpability of the perpetrator.

Hazing can include, but is not limited to, the following: playing abusive or ridiculous tricks; threatening or offering violence or bodily harm to another; striking; branding; taping; tattooing; shaving; greasing; painting; requiring excessive physical exercise beyond what is required to meet standards; pinning; tacking on; blood wings; or forcing or requiring the consumption of food, alcohol, drugs, or any other substance.

Military customs and traditions have long been an integral part of the Navy. In the past, there have been instances in which hazing has become inappropriately associated with military customs and traditions, and tolerated. Ceremonies, initiations, and rites of passage, when properly supervised to ensure appropriate behavior, can be effective leadership tools to instill esprit de corps, unit cohesion, and respect for an accomplishment of another Sailor or Civilian. While most ceremonies commemorate the many selfless feats of bravery of our military men and women, they also commemorate significant events. These feats and events form the basis upon which our Core Values of Honor, Courage and Commitment were founded. Graduations, CPO 365, "crossing-the-line" ceremonies, and others are only meant to celebrate and recognize the achievements of individual Sailors or those of entire units. Service members must be able to work together, building-up, encouraging, and supporting their shipmates. Behavior that is degrading, embarrassing or injurious is unprofessional and illegal. All Commanders, Commanding Officers, and Officers-in-Charge must be aware of all ceremonies and initiations conducted within their organizations and take proactive steps to ensure that these activities do not violate this policy.

Responsibilities of all Sailors and Civilians.
All personnel within the Pacific Submarine Force shall enforce this policy through credible leadership and shall not condone or ignore hazing of which they have knowledge or have reason to have knowledge. The Commanding Officer or Officer-in-Charge must be informed immediately of any allegation of hazing. Reported incidents of hazing will be thoroughly investigated and dealt with swiftly, fairly, and effectively. If the alleged offense is substantiated, immediate and appropriate administrative action and/or the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), Art. 92 (failure to obey a lawful general order) and other UCMJ articles will be taken to remedy the situation. Individuals responding to the incident will maintain confidentiality to the greatest extent possible.

Responsibilities of Senior Leadership.
All Commanders, Commanding Officers, and Officers-in-Charge are charged with ensuring the reporting requirements are met and personnel are educated and trained upon reporting onboard (within 30 days to the extent possible) and annually thereafter, in the area of hazing as outlined in SECNAVINST 1610.2A.

As Commander Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet, I will not tolerate hazing. Proper interaction and behavior of Sailors as well as Civilians helps build and maintain unit cohesion.

-- Rear Admiral B. L. Converse, Commander, Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet