Archive for the ‘U.S. Navy’ Category

Preempting mass murder: improving law enforcement risk assessments of persons with mental illness

June 9, 2015 Comments off

Preempting mass murder: improving law enforcement risk assessments of persons with mental illness
Source: Naval Postgraduate School

Across the United States, mass murder events have been on the rise for nearly a decade. This thesis found that persons with serious mental illness perpetrated a statistically significant number of these events. Currently, law enforcement agencies are often the first—and in many communities the only resource—available to assist and assess mentally ill persons in crisis. This thesis investigated the current state of law enforcement training as it relates to assessing dangerousness and the risk for violence among persons with serious mental illness. It found that there is very little training and no risk assessment tool or guide currently available to assist law enforcement officers tasked with assessing mentally ill persons for dangerousness. Subsequently, this thesis examined alternative methods and models for assessing risk, including clinical violence risk assessments, and it conducted summary case studies. These included cases in which mentally ill persons committed acts of mass murder and cases where law enforcement successfully intervened and prevented mentally ill persons from carrying out planned violence. As a result of this research and analysis, a field risk assessment guide has been developed and recommended for adoption to aid law enforcement officers in assessing the dangerousness of mentally ill persons.

Complacency: a threat to homeland security?

September 7, 2014 Comments off

Complacency: a threat to homeland security?
Source: Naval Postgraduate School

This thesis presents an unconventional approach to addressing a threat to homeland security by focusing on complacency through the lens of human factors and complexity. This approach requires a paradigm shift. In addition to focusing on external threats from enemies who wish to do this nation harm, and building capabilities to prepare for disasters, it is also necessary to look internally to the behaviors, attitudes, and states of mind of people within homeland security organizations to optimize the success of this country’s efforts. This thesis draws from human factors science, folk science and folk psychology, complexity theory, homeland security doctrine, psychology and biology reference works, and applied research to develop a concept of complacency for the homeland security discipline. The hypothesis is that a clear definition may lead to actionable, observable measures to mitigate it. The research concludes that complacency is more commonly used as a proverbial threat than an actionable threat, but reveals a plethora of future research opportunities for a human-factors approach to addressing threats of this nature.

Stigma of Mental Health Care in the Military

June 17, 2014 Comments off

Stigma of Mental Health Care in the Military (PDF)
Source: Naval Center for Combat & Operational Stress Control

While anti-stigma efforts have been employed throughout all branches of the military , research shows that the stigma of mental illness in the military remains high (Hoge et al., 2004; Hoge et al., 2006). Military anti-stigma efforts include but are not limited to the following: (a) the Department of Defense’s (DoD) $2.7-million campaign focused on decreasing stigma in all military branches by inviting service members to share their stories of seeking help; (b) implementation of the combat and operational stress control continuum, allowing service members to be classified as “ready,” “reacting,” “injured” or “ill” rather than the dichotomous labels of “ready” or “ill”; (c) the “Real Warriors Campaign ” anti-stigma initiative that invites successfully treated service members to share their experiences about the effective mental health treatments available; (d) the Operational Stress Control and Readiness (OSCAR) program developed by the Marine Corps that embeds mental health professionals in infantry regiments, logistics groups and air wings to aid in early identification and treatment of combat stress; and (e) the integration of psychology into primary care settings throughout all branches of service. In addition, post-deployment mental health screenings have been mandated for all military personnel returning from combat that aim to better identify and refer to specialty care, service members who are suffering from post – traumatic stress, depression and alcohol problems. Unfortunately, many at – risk service members do not follow through with needed treatment (Milliken, Auchterlonie, & Hoge, 2007; Bray et al., 2009). Several factors influence an individual’s level of stigma and resulting treatment – seeking behaviors, such as (a) attitudes of higher ranking military leaders, (b) potential repercussions of admitting to mental health issues, (c) gender, (d) marital status and (e) previous history of seeking treatment. Considering that military service members are exposed to significant t raumas and other situations not experienced by the general U.S. population, it is important that these individuals believe it is acceptable to receive mental health treatment. The many factors influencing stigma and treatment – seeking behavior in the milita ry population are discussed throughout this review.

Former Blue Angels’ CO Reprimanded at Admiral’s Mast (includes link to full report)

June 4, 2014 Comments off

Former Blue Angels’ CO Reprimanded at Admiral’s Mast
Source: U.S. Navy (U.S. Pacific Fleet Public Affairs)

At an Admiral’s Mast proceeding on June 2, a former commanding officer of the U.S. Navy’s Flight Demonstration Squadron – the Blue Angels – was found guilty of violating Uniform Code Military Justice articles 92 (failure to obey an order or regulation) and 133 (conduct unbecoming of an officer) by fostering a hostile command climate, failing to stop obvious and repeated instances of sexual harassment, condoning widespread lewd practices within the squadron, and engaging in inappropriate and unprofessional discussions with his junior officers.

As a result, Capt. Gregory McWherter was given non-judicial punishment in the form of a punitive letter of reprimand.

Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet, Adm. Harry Harris Jr., convened the Admiral’s Mast after an investigation he ordered found McWherter allowed his officers and senior enlisted personnel to engage in inappropriate and sexually harassing behavior that significantly contributed to an unprofessional command climate during his second command tour as the Blue Angels commanding officer from May 2011 to November 2012.

The investigation concluded that McWherter witnessed, condoned, and encouraged behavior that, while juvenile and sophomoric in the beginning, ultimately and in the aggregate, became destructive, toxic, and hostile. According to the investigation, at no time did the behavior lead to sexual assault.

Transgenders in the US military: policies, problems, and prospects

June 3, 2014 Comments off

Transgenders in the US military: policies, problems, and prospects (PDF)
Source: Naval Postgraduate School (thesis — Mendez)

This study explores the policies, problems, and prospects related to transgenders serving in the U.S. military. Simply defined, “transgender” refers to persons whose gender identity , behavior, or expression does not conform to their sex assigned at birth. Yet, as the present study shows, the terminology and associated issues are complicated and defy simple definitions. The U.S. military currently prohibits transgenders from joining or serving openly, as seen in policies and medical standards identified by the study. A number of other nations do not prohibit transgenders from serving in their military. The study focuses on the practices of two such nations, Australia and Canada. Also examined is the trend toward changing medical classifications of transgender, resulting from revised perspectives by the world’s most authoritative sources. Notably, these sources have shifted away from classifying gender incongruence as a disorder or placing it in a mental health category. The study concludes that medical reasons for excluding transgenders from the U.S. military are inconsistent with prevailing views. Several areas for further research are recommended.

Use of Social Media Networks and Mobile Phone Applications for Reporting Suspicious and Criminal Activities on Mass Transit

March 24, 2014 Comments off

Use of Social Media Networks and Mobile Phone Applications for Reporting Suspicious and Criminal Activities on Mass Transit
Source: Naval Postgraduate School

From the thesis abstract: “The threat of terrorism remains in the forefront daily, and public transportation systems remain a preferred target for terrorist attacks. Mass transit customers have long served as the ‘eyes and ears’ of the public transportation environment. In support of the Department of Homeland Security’s See It Say It campaign, mass transit customers contribute to this effort by reporting suspicious and criminal activities on subways and buses. The use of social media networks and mobile phone applications by mass transit law enforcement is slowly evolving as a tool for reporting suspicious and criminal activities on subways and buses. By reviewing the data and current use of social media networks and smartphone applications such as by mass transit law enforcement agencies, this thesis demonstrates that citizens want to play a role in assisting law enforcement in solving crimes. Mass transit law enforcement agencies can leverage community involvement and reduce crime by providing customers with an anonymous means for reporting suspicious and criminal activities. However, whether the use of social media networks and smartphone applications have resulted in an increase in reporting suspicious and criminal activities and a reduction in crime is unresolved, warranting future study in this area.”

Suicide Terrorism: A Brief Bibliography of Scholarly Resources, Updated 2014

March 19, 2014 Comments off

Suicide Terrorism: A Brief Bibliography of Scholarly Resources, Updated 2014
Source: Naval Postgraduate School (Dudley Knox Library)

This bibliography, compiled by Greta E. Marlatt at the Naval Postgraduate School, contains a list of resources related to suicide terrorism. Resources include both books and periodicals. The list is organized alphabetically and links to resources are provided when available electronically.