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Stop and Think

What is Stop and Think Campaign?

The “Stop and Think” campaign is a program designed to create a visual and thought- provoking tool to help Sailors realize the need to take a few extra seconds to consider the results of their decisions rather than making a short-fused decision that could have life changing implications or loss of life.

How was Stop and Think Developed?

  • The idea was generated after hearing of a best practice shared by CMDCM (SS) Powell, at the time, Chief of the Boat (COB) of the USS SAN JUAN. The SAN JUAN had experienced a couple of DUI’s in a short period of time. CMDCM Powell gathered his crew and addressed them about his personal concern for their health and well-being. He then expressed that he was going to ask his Chiefs to escort each one of them to their vehicles to place a small orange sticker in their rear-view mirror. When they sat down in their car and saw that orange sticker, he wanted them to feel that the sticker was him, watching them and concerned for their safety and well-being. This would cause them to stop and think of their actions in the car before moving forward, provoking thought about potential hazards and short fused decisions. The crew remained DUI free the last eighteen months of his tour as COB.

How does the Stop and Think campaign work today?

  • The Stop and Think stop sign provides a visual reference for Sailors to easily grasp and consider their actions as part of their Time Critical Risk Management. (For more information on Time Critical ORM go to the Naval Safety Center Website: Commands are encouraged to conduct Safety Stand downs with their Sailors and express to them that “Safety is not about keeping you safe from something, but rather about keeping them safe for something.” Every Sailor contributes to mission accomplishment and every Sailor is responsible for their personal success. In staying safe they are preserving the many successes they will experience in life for themselves, their families, and their Shipmates. Posters to provoke these thoughts are available for download and will eventually be available from the Naval Safety Center. Instead of using a sticker on a rear view mirror, commands may purchase vehicle vent air fresheners with the Stop and Think slogan on it that may be placed in the vent closest to the vehicle ignition. The personal engagement by the Command Leadership Team and the CPO Mess experience of taking Sailors to their vehicles strongly emphasizes the concern they have for their Sailors.

What are some examples of using Stop and Think?

  • Think of a time that you made a decision that you wish you could change. Let’s say for example; you made a quick lane change, instead of taking the couple of extra seconds to look for a potential blind spot you hit a motorcycle and cause a severe injury or, even worse, death to an innocent motorcyclist. Had you taken three extra seconds to “stop and think” and look for the motorcycle, your life may be much different, as well as the person you just effected.
  • Recall a time that you may have had a couple of drinks and you decide that you are not too intoxicated to drive. Had you exercised “Stop and Think”, maybe you would not have gotten into an accident that kills an innocent person driving the other car you just hit. Had you exercised “Stop and Think”, maybe you would have thought about how your actions would impact you and others around you. That cab fare now appears a lot cheaper than taking the short fused risk of driving your car.
  • Think of a time that you were working with a hazardous material. Instead of taking the time to review the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS), you figure, “I have used this before and know how to work with it.” You get some in your eye and permanently lose sight due to your actions. Had you exercised “Stop and Think” and taken the two minutes necessary to read the MSDS and put on the required safety goggles, maybe you would still have your full vision and not be required to end your naval career. Using “Stop and Think” before your actions rather than reflecting on a bad decision afterwards is important. Do you want to be a statistic of success or a statement in a mishap report due to a failed short fused decision? Your shipmates from Commander Navy Region Mid-Atlantic, who are members of the Coalition of Sailors Against Destructive Decision (CSADD), are concerned about all Sailors navy-wide. Please take the time to “Stop and Think”. To obtain additional information on how to enable success at work or on liberty view the many links provided on the CSADD web-site.


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