Today, the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) announced the key findings and recommendations of the internal review on personal conduct within the institution. The vast majority of sailors conduct themselves appropriately and while the RCN is already well-supported by policies and procedures, there is a need for more exacting guidance from leadership, the internal review has found.
The review, led by Commodore Craig Baines, Commander Canadian Fleet Atlantic, was tasked to assess whether the RCN has the appropriate mechanisms in place and to ensure that clear expectations and direction regarding personal conduct are understood and enforced. Vice-Admiral Mark Norman, Commander RCN and Convening Authority for the Internal Review, has approved the review’s findings and recommendations.
Further to the main findings, the review also concluded that “deck-plate leadership” throughout the RCN must continue to actively communicate, educate, mentor, and serve as models of proper conduct. This is the first and most important step to show sailors what “right looks like.”
The report acknowledges that the RCN, as a national institution, enjoys a tremendous reputation for excellence at sea and it is clear that the vast majority of its officers and sailors know and understand how to represent their country, service and ships.
To address the shortcomings identified by the report, the RCN is actively developing additional measures to better inform its personnel and communicate expectations linked to acceptable behaviour and conduct.
The RCN recognizes that, ultimately, the subject of conduct is a leadership issue that must be tackled at all levels of the RCN chain of command. RCN leaders must continue to actively encourage personnel under their supervision to pursue and adopt a more healthy and balanced lifestyle. These measures will be supported through enhanced training, education and counselling. Existing course modules and training plans regarding personal conduct will be further developed and taught at all levels of training, and to all ranks throughout the course of one’s career.
In addition to the measures outlined above, the RCN will also modernize its alcohol policy and bring further limitations to an existing set of strict rules regarding alcohol consumption on board Canadian warships.
The RCN encourages and promotes a healthy, addiction-free lifestyle and working environment. RCN personnel must strive to adopt this healthy lifestyle and to conduct itself in a way that, at all times, supports the RCN’s core value of being ready for service, and of serving Canada before self, which is defined by the “Ready Aye Ready” attitude ....