A recent Navy Times story, "Kitty Hawk sailors chafe under liberty rules," reported on draconian liberty policies instituted in ships assigned to Forward Deployed Naval Forces (FDNF) Japan.1 Some FDNF commands apparently require "departmental chiefs or officers to reach by phone or physically see each of their Sailors (E-6 and below) every evening—even on weekends and regardless of marital status—to make sure they were following approved liberty plans." A multi-part liberty plan form requires Sailors to describe in detail what they intend to do while on liberty; an "alcohol awareness/use" section with multiple Miranda-style questions requires them to affirm that they understand the rules and consequences if they intend to drink alcohol. These legalistic forms must be filled out daily, and commands are expected to spot-check compliance. The cumulative "time tax" of doing so may be imagined.
'Worse Than a Crime - A Mistake'
If you treat your Sailors like adults and professionals, they will perform that way.
By Captain J. M. van Tol, U.S. Navy (Retired)