Welcome to the Operational Stress Control blog

U.S. Navy Capt. Lori A. Laraway, Coordinator, Navy’s Operational Stress Control (OSC) Program

Thank you for visiting the Navy’s Operational Stress Control Blog.  We want to find ways to reach you, our Sailors, family members and commands with the type of information you need to become more resilient. This blog is just one way to link you with tools and resources we think are helpful and to get your reactions to our efforts.

One of OSC’s goals is to help you improve your ability to prepare for, recover from and adjust to life in the face of stress, adversity or trauma.  In other words, have the ability to bounce back from stressful times.  To do that, we are working with a host of other Navy organizations to deliver to you the most up-to-date information about stress, its effects and the best ways to make sure it doesn’t become a problem in your life.

Navigating stress is what we call the process of effectively dealing with both day–to-day and extraordinary challenges.  We want you to be able to identify stressors in your life and know how to navigate through them to become stronger and more resilient.

Everyone experiences stress differently.  For some, a move to a new base can be seen as an adventure, while others may feel overwhelmed with all the changes the move can bring. We want everyone to learn how to recognize stress in themselves, shipmates, family members and commands.  We also want you to find effective ways to deal with it. Talking about it helps and we have adopted a model that recognizes that stress reactions occur across a continuum. We refer to them as stress zones.   The model uses four colors: Green, Yellow, Orange, and Red to help people understand the different zones

  • Green – Ready – not  stress free but coping well
  • Yellow – Reacting – normal responses to stressful situation but ones that can cause us some distress such as trouble sleeping or increased irritability
  • Orange – Injured –  when we need to admit that our stress may be more than we can handle alone … when we need to seek help
  • Red – Ill –  when we can no longer manage well and medical attention is needed

We want our Navy to be a place where Sailors and their families are aware of both the positive and negative effects of stress and know what they can do to be sure stress doesn’t become a problem.

Our OSC program has already made some changes.  We have developed training that helps Sailors learn about operational stress and have provided content for families and Sailors getting ready for a deployment.  We are working to help change policy to make it easier to get help if it’s needed and encourage dialogue about building resilience across the Navy.

We also want to show you how others deal with challenges by telling their stories. One terrific first-hand account of successfully navigating operational stress was featured in the March All Hands magazine http://www.navy.mil/allhands.asp?x=search. We’re grateful to those who have come forward with their stories and encourage others to share their successes with us. But it’s even more important that you talk with your shipmates and other families.

We can’t do it alone. We need to know how we can help Sailors, families, and leaders work together to help themselves and others to build resilience. Letting others know how you have used that resilience and strength to navigate through stressful times can be of enormous help.  Send us notes, post your thoughts and let us know how you are dealing with all that the Navy demands.

While we are reaching out to you to learn what you need, we are also finding tools you can use.  Humor is a great stress buster and we’ve been extremely lucky to have our great cartoonists bring us some levity.  This month we are also posting on our NKO site (https://wwwa.nko.navy.mil), some audio files to help you relax at work or home. Take a minute to do these simple exercises, and then let us know if they work for you.

Thank you for your service and remember to take a minute to relax.

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