Tag Archives: Navy

OSC Coordinator Participates in the DoDLive Bloggers Roundtable

Operational Stress Control Coordinator, Capt. Lori Laraway recently joined bloggers and online journalists in a DoDLive Bloggers Roundtable to discuss the OSC program, its success in increasing awareness of operational stress and the need to build psychological resilience.

Listen to the interview.
Read the transcript.

Navy Operational Stress Control Program Quick Poll Reveals Some Progress
By Lt. Jennifer Cragg, Defense Media Activity
Release Date: 12/2/2010 5:48:00 AM

WASHINGTON (NNS) — The coordinator of the Navy’s Operational Stress Control (OSC) program discussed with bloggers and online journalists the Navy’s OSC program and its success in increasing awareness of operational stress and the need to build psychological resilience during a DoDLive Bloggers Roundtable Dec. 1.

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

Capt. Lori Laraway, coordinator of the Navy’s OSC program, also discussed the latest Quick Poll survey results.

While high operational tempo and manning issues continue to remain in the forefront for deployed Sailors, the Navy’s OSC program is having success assisting Sailors and their families deal with related stresses, said Laraway.

“Feedback from our 2010 Behavioral Health Quick Poll, Naval Personnel Command poll, other surveys and focus groups indicated growing awareness of the Navy’s Stress Continuum Model and the importance of leaders and individuals recognizing stress at work and home,” said Laraway. “However, while awareness and stress issues are improving, this year’s Quick Poll respondents also indicated that longer deployments and manning issues continue to contribute to increasing levels of their stress.”

Laraway said based on the Quick Poll they did see a larger percentage of Sailors reporting positive ways they are coping with stress in their day-to-day lives. Based on the survey, they were certainly talking to family, friends, shipmates, Fleet and Family Support Centers, their chaplains and using their chain of command to constructively solve problems, said Laraway.

While awareness of stress issues is improving, OSC supports an aggressive, education, training and communication campaign that integrates policies and initiatives under one over-arching umbrella.

“Training has expanded this past year to include eight new e-learning courses designed for Navy leaders,” said Laraway.

These web-based offerings are part of the Navy’s effort to embed OSC concepts across all education and training programs. This new curriculum builds on courses already taught to 176,000 Sailors, family members and healthcare providers to navigate stress for day-to-day operations.

While OSC is about helping commands, their Sailors and families to become more resilient by increasing their ability to prepare for, recover from and adjust to life in the face of stress adversity, trauma or tragedy, their curriculum has also been advanced to assist families cope with stress.

“A mission-ready Sailor incorporates a mission-ready family. When things are going on in the home or in the family that are causing stress, it has an impact on the Sailor’s ability to perform the mission,” said Laraway.

Laraway added that the OSC program developed training and formal curriculum, working with the Fleet and Family Support Centers, specifically tailored for families that would complement and support existing programs. Additionally, Laraway explained other ways they are disbursing the vital information to family members.

“Our curriculum has been translated into Spanish and American sign language, recognizing that English is not only the primary language to get information out to families,” said Laraway.

The OSC program is also working with the Navy Medicine Focus Program to develop relationships with families who deploy more frequently, said Laraway. By doing so, the OSC training components includes, recognizing what stress zones our Sailors and their family members may fall into all in the same, common language, which is vital to understanding our stress points.

“What we are teaching or presenting to Sailors and Marines is the same language that family members here at the Fleet and Family Support Centers,” said Laraway. “That common language is very important when looking to change our culture.”

The OSC has developed four distinct color-coded categories to assist in classifying and recognizing stress – green indicates a “ready” status, yellow indicates a “reacting” status, orange indicates an “injured” status and red indicates an “ill” status.

“We recognize that for the most part, our Sailors and families are in the green zone. They are physically fit, they have had good training, they have good communication skills, they know what to do and how to go about doing it,” said Laraway.

If our Sailors and their families have the resiliency and life experience, as well as the training and knowledge, they can move back into the green zone, said Laraway. She also said that occasionally something happens to shift the stress in the family, and it is perfectly normal to move across the continuum.

An important ingredient of OSC success is increasing the acceptance of seeking help for stress related injuries and illnesses, said Laraway.

“Our work to change attitudes has begun with promoting Navy’s leadership belief that asking for assistance and guidance is a sign of strength and not weakness,” said Laraway.

She added that they are dedicated to using humor as a method to teach leaders and Sailors to recognize their stress zones and established a social media presence with their blog and Facebook accounts.

For navigating stress tips and OSC information, visit www.navynavstress.com.

Connect with OSC through Facebook at www.facebook.com/navstress and Twitter, www.twitter.com/navstress.

For more news, visit www.navy.mil._

Holiday Expectations

The holidays can be one of the most joyful times of year; they can also be one of the most stressful. Our expectations of the holiday experience can cause us unwanted stress. Whether you are home preparing for big celebrations or anticipating an upcoming deployment – try to be objective about what you can expect.

Talk to friends and family about ways to minimize the loneliness of separations, or the loss of the comforts of home. Discuss what is possible and what will work best for everyone. Don’t assume others know what you want – have a conversation about what everyone hopes for, then decide what you can or can’t do. No matter the case, keep in mind that by managing holiday expectations you can enjoy the season by reducing your stress level.

Below are some stress reducing tips to help you set the stage for a joy filled holiday.

1. Take advantage of leave periods and relax for a few days by doing something you enjoy. Holiday stand-down periods provide flexibility for much needed rest to recover from the demands of Navy life.

2. Be a good listener. While being around family can be fun and exciting, it can also be stressful. Hearing Uncle Joe’s 100th repetition of his favorite story; listening to your nieces and nephews latest successes or experiencing the tour of the new Ford F-150 you’ve always wanted by your brother-in-law can be exhausting. Holidays are short so try to give the gift of good company and the reward may even be learning new ways of appreciating the family you have.

3. Keep to your shopping budget. When it comes to holiday gift-giving, find creative ways to save money. Often times cooking a favorite dish or providing a respite from care or chores can be a much appreciated present.

4. Plan ahead. Travel can be treacherous. Preparing your car, early arrangements for pet care and plenty of rest can make the journey fun.

5. Plan your own observance. If you or a loved one will be away during the holidays, celebrate early or pick a day upon your return. Nothing says it has to be on a specific day.

To help Sailors, family members, and commands be better prepared for stressful times, the Navy has established the Operational Stress Control (OSC) program. Training is making its way to the Fleet and to family members. Sailors, families and commands are learning how to recognize the signs of stress and what actions to take.

For more information about dates and times for the next Operational Stress Control training, check with your local Fleet and Family Support Center. Leaders can also request training for their command.

Building resilience through stressful situations can make us better prepared for the next challenge. As the holidays approach, remember to take a minute to relax and enjoy the simple pleasures this time of year brings. By setting realistic expectations, you are sure to lower your stress level.

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

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.

Continue reading

Respond or React: What’s Your Style?

The Navy’s OSC program provides practical tools that can be used to identify signs of stress and suggest appropriate actions.  We want you to be able to successfully navigate stress at home and at work.  One tool that may help you better navigate through stress is an approach called “Cultivating a Wise Response”.   We hope you’ll find it helpful.


When confronted with a problem or opportunity do you Respond to the whole situation or React to your narrow experience of it?

A Reaction is a reflex –impulsive action focused on a narrow part of the overall situation, usually to the exclusion of larger goals and objectives. Often it is quick and happens without much or any thought – similar to the reflex when the doctor hits your knee with the rubber hammer and your lower leg flips up. It’s an answer to a specific question rather than an answer to the need behind the question.  It’s action based on an awareness of, and a solution for, only a “narrow slice” of the situation.

A Response however, is a wiser course of action, encompassing the complexities of people and circumstances with an unflinching focus on goals and outcomes.  It’s action to accomplish goals based on a more thorough understanding of the whole situation.

Effective employees (Sailors) achieve results because they understand the fundamental difference between a hasty Reaction and a Wise Response. Teach your team to Cultivate a Wise Response with an engaging training and coaching program.

Author:  Dan Clemens (www.quietpath.com) – Used by permission




Narrow Slice Whole Situation
Knee-jerk Considered
Anxious/Angry/Afraid Calm
I win Nobody loses
Rushed Poised
Quick band aid fix Cure
Few options Many options










When it comes to responding vs. reacting, here are some questions to ask yourself:

1.  What are possible contributions to the situation?

2.  What other information do I need or what assumptions have I made?

3.  What are some options to respond?

Navigating Your Stress


Welcome to the new blog for Operational Stress Control or OSC.  We invite you to watch a short 1 minute Daily News Update video featuring OSC Program Coordinator CAPT Lori Laraway.

As we launch the OSC program we recognize the value of Blogging as a form of communication not only to share information, but also as a wonderful way to get feedback from a large audience with a wide variety of backgrounds and perspectives.

We look forward to receiving your comments.  Although we will not be able to respond to every post on the blog, we will read them and do our very best to respond to your concerns.

If you are new to Operational Stress Control, you are probably wondering what exactly is OSC?  OSC seeks to create an environment where Sailors, commands and families can thrive in the midst of stressful operations. Just as world-class athletes gain the winning edge by using every means at their disposal – coaches, trainers, even sports psychologists – our world-class Sailors need to employ every available resource to stay fit and ready as well as seek assistance for stress reactions early before they become problems.

Our posts here will highlight the OSC program.  We’ll also feature information on how Sailors, Commands, Leaders and Spouses can navigate their stress.  Thank you for visiting the new online home for Navigating Stress.