Respect for our Teammates

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MSC teammates, many of you have seen recent reports about a “Marines United” social media site that degraded female members of our sister service.  If you thought the website or the misconduct was limited to the Marine Corps, I regret to say this is not the case.  We, the Navy and MSC, have a serious problem and we must come together to solve it.

Degrading behavior is flat out wrong.  It violates the trust of our teammates and threatens our ability to carry out our mission.  These cowardly acts are toxic and make our team weaker.  They must stop.

The vast majority of our team treats each other with respect and is genuinely disgusted by this conduct.  The few who engage in this behavior need to know that we will not tolerate it.  Those who violate a sacred trust must know that there is no place for you on our team.

I will not tolerate any MSC employee, military or civilian, being harassed or having their privacy violated.  This degrading behavior threatens the welfare of our people and the health of our organization.  We cannot function as a team if there are members who are being harassed, ridiculed, embarrassed, and even threatened.  Imagine how we would feel if members of our own family were treated this way?

I need everyone to act.  Leaders at every level must engage their team, clearly communicating standards of conduct that we expect of every employee at MSC.  We must get at the root cause of this egregious conduct, fix it, and ensure it stops happening.

Any victims of this behavior must know that we support you and will assist you to the fullest extent possible with appropriate legal and support programs.

I challenge everyone in the command to discuss this subject and tackle it head on.  Let’s ask ourselves, “Why is this happening?”  What can we do to change our culture to where behaviors such as these have absolutely no place?  And most importantly, discuss how your individual behaviors, actions and attitudes will drive us to a solution.

I know this recent news is shocking to most of you and I share your outrage over this deplorable behavior.  Let us commit together to solving this problem, reaching for that higher standard in everything we do, and fostering an inclusive environment where every team member is valued and respected.

United We Sail,

Rear Adm. Dee L. Mewbourne, USN
Commander, Military Sealift Command

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