Earlier this month, the Navy’s Operational Stress Control (OSC) program headlined the 5th annual Warrior Resilience Conference in Washington, DC. Hosted by the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury (DCoE), this cross-service virtual training event, which included both the National Guard and Reserve, focused on resilience and the prevention and treatment of combat and operational stress injuries. Sessions were centered on mind-body-spirit, sleep and general education in combat and operational stress control to optimize performance and enhance physical and psychological resilience.
Navy speakers covered a variety of topics supporting the theme, with featured speakers RDML Martha Herb, CAPT Kurt Scott and MCPON Mike Stevens, talking about aspects of Navy’s approach to navigating operational stress and achieving resilience.
Dr. Nita Shattack, a sleep expert at the Naval Postgraduate School, presented research showing how sleep deprivation and alcohol intoxication have similar effects on a person’s ability to process and react to their environment. Dr. Shattuck’s team recently piloted a sleep scheduling concept, named Optimized Watchstanding, on board the USS Jason Dunham. The results from the all-rank cohort showed significant improvements in responsiveness and mental clarity, and will hopefully encourage the Fleet-wide adaptation of an Alternative Watch Schedule, such as the 3-9Watch Rotation. A full one-hour session was also dedicated to the OSC Leader course, how it was developed and how it has evolved since 2008.
“We’re looking forward at what we see will be the challenges. We want to keep Sailors ahead of the stress curve,” explained CAPT Scott, OPNAV N171 Resilience Chief, during an all-service panel session. “We feel confident, based on the input from Sailors and leadership, the [Navy OSC program] has had an impact on resilience and performance, and specifically driving down negative decisions.”
The virtual conference used live and prerecorded streaming media to offer interactive presentations, networking and information exchanges, an exhibit hall, resource downloads, and facilitated chat sessions designed to provide participants with a unique learning environment.
Sessions were recorded and are available on-demand from your desktop or mobile devices. Simply register and log in at http://dcoewrcv.sabercity.com. Available sessions are under “On Demand.”