NAVAL AIR FACILITY MISAWA, Japan — The Navy isn’t giving up on struggling first-term sailors.

Whether they’re battling substance abuse, financial problems, homesickness or low self-esteem, the Navy’s “Bearings” program is designed to help young, troubled sailors complete their initial tour and gain their bearings, according to Navy officials.

A team of instructors from the Regional Support Organization at Naval Station San Diego is bringing the two-week course to Pacific-area installations, starting with NAF Misawa March 28 to April 8.

Other bases to be visited include Naval Air Facility Atsugi, U.S. Naval Base Guam, Sasebo Naval Base and Yokosuka Naval Base.

Bearings has been around since 2001, but the course later this month will be its debut at Misawa, said NAF Misawa Command Master Chief Michael McCarthy.

“I think it’s great that they’re coming out here,” he said Tuesday. “There’s a lot more stress on sailors first term, first tour out in Japan, 7,000 miles away from their families. This course helps them deal with that stress.”

The program targets at-risk first-term sailors E-3 and below and E-4 sailors in the accelerated advancement program — usually between ages 18 and 25.

At NAF Misawa, immediate supervisors, senior enlisted advisers and petty officers first class are being asked to identify sailors for the class, which has room for 18 to 25 people.

A supervisor might sign up a sailor not performing at 100 percent or displaying a poor attitude or problems dealing with authority, McCarthy said.

The program, the chief said, is an example of the Navy’s proactive leadership.

“The bottom line is that we want to reach out to young sailors before they get off course and fall into a path of misconduct,” he said.

Navy officials say the program teaches sailors to develop focused thinking, decision-making practices and personal accountability. The course covers communication skills, anger management, alcohol abuse, financial responsibility and Navy advancement.

Two days are devoted to a personal growth seminar conducted by Chaplains Religious Enrichment Development Orientation, or CREDO. Physical training and routine uniform inspections also are included.

After NAF Misawa, the Bearings Pacific schedule includes:

NAF Atsugi, April 11 to 22.U.S. Naval Base Guam, May 2 to 13.Yokosuka Naval Base, Aug. 8 to 19.Sasebo Naval Base, Aug. 22 to Sept. 2.Visit here for more information on Bearings.

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Jennifer reports on the U.S. military from Kaiserslautern, Germany, where she writes about the Air Force, Army and DODEA schools. She’s had previous assignments for Stars and Stripes in Japan, reporting from Yokota and Misawa air bases. Before Stripes, she worked for daily newspapers in Wyoming and Colorado. She’s a graduate of the College of William and Mary in Virginia.

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