WASHINGTON - Naval Administrative Message 231/20 described SAPR and Suicide Prevention training as “critical to the overall health of the fleet.”

The Navy announced command flexibility in completing Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR) and Suicide Prevention General Military Training (GMT) Aug. 14.

Naval Administrative Message 231/20 described SAPR and Suicide Prevention training as “critical to the overall health of the fleet.”

“[The Navy’s] goal is to promote a culture of dignity and respect for every member of the Navy and to prevent sexual assault from occurring,” said Andrea Verdino, social science program specialist and policy analyst (OPNAV N172).

“Annual training gives us the opportunity to educate members of the Navy team on a wide variety of SAPR and suicide prevention related topics.”

According to Department of Defense Instruction 6495.02, SAPR Program Procedures, “the SAPR training, at a minimum, shall incorporate adult learning theory, which includes interaction and group participation.”

“Click-through presentations provide little to no opportunity for students to engage in dialogue and deepen learning,” said Verdino. “Face-to-face adult learning theory provides the opportunity for students to engage in discussions by sharing stories, experiences, and/or knowledge/skills.”

Verdino added that training based on adult learning theory is more impactful, encourages the audience to think, and is ultimately a better method for maintaining the audience’s attention and increasing the chances of them retaining the information.

Although face-to-face, small-group-facilitated discussions are the preferred method of delivery, the COVID-19 pandemic has limited the ability of Navy commands to gather in groups for training.

To combat this, the Navy has authorized its commanding officers “to adapt or modify FY20 SAPR and Suicide Prevention GMT delivery methods consistent with coronavirus mitigation procedures and operational commitments to meet these training requirements.”

The preferred alternate training delivery method is facilitated small-group training via teleconference or other online collaboration tools.

“We recognize that some Navy commands around the world will have unique circumstances and challenges completing face-to-face training in this pandemic environment,” said Cmdr. Ben Amdur, deputy branch head, Education Strategy and Training (OPNAV N13M7). “Command teams need flexibility to provide this critical training to all of their Sailors, especially if face-to-face training is not feasible and DoD-approved collaborative video conferencing is not available to all members of their command.”

Questions or feedback related to SAPR or Suicide Prevention GMT or any other GMT may be directed to gmt.distribution@navy.mil. GMT information is located on MyNavy Portal at https://my.navy.mil/. Once logged in, select “Professional Resources” from the top menu and then “General Military Training (GMT).”

Connecticut Media Group