NEWS | March 16, 2021

Commander, Navy Reserve Forces Command Leads Extremism Stand-Down

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Raymond Maddocks, Commander, Navy Reserve Forces Command Public Affairs

NORFOLK (Mar 10, 2021) — Commander, Navy Reserve Forces Command (CNRFC), Rear Adm. John Schommer, addresses Sailors during a virtual extremism stand-down March 15. CNRFC is the Navy Reserve headquarters responsible for readiness, oversight, manpower management, logistics, financial management, mobilization and training of nearly 60,000 Sailors in executing operational support and warfighting missions. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Raymond Maddocks)
SLIDESHOW | 5 images | 210315-N-IC246-0023 NORFOLK (Mar 15, 2021) — Commander, Navy Reserve Forces Command (CNRFC), Rear Adm. John Schommer, addresses Sailors during a virtual extremism stand-down March 15. CNRFC is the Navy Reserve headquarters responsible for readiness, oversight, manpower management, logistics, financial management, mobilization and training of nearly 60,000 Sailors in executing operational support and warfighting missions. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Raymond Maddocks)

NORFOLK — Commander, Navy Reserve Forces Command (CNRFC), Rear Adm. John Schommer, and command staff led Sailors and civilians in a stand-down discussion to address extremism in the ranks, March 15.

“This stand-down is an opportunity to learn and to make our Navy stronger… to ensure our Navy is inclusive of everyone who takes the oath to protect and defend our Constitution,” said Schommer. “While the vast majority of our Navy, active duty, Reserve, and civilian personnel always do the right thing, it only takes the misconduct of a few to erode trust in our shipmates, and our Navy.” 

The extremism stand-down was directed across the Department of Defense by Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin, who recently directed each service, command and unit to hold discussions on extremist behavior. 

The stand-down is a top priority for the Reserve force, according to Schommer, who says tackling the issue head-on will lead to a healthier, stronger force.

“Extremism that promotes injustice, racial discrimination or corrosive behavior stokes resentment and tears others down,” said Schommer. “As a military service, we build each other up, encourage each other and we celebrate our shipmates’ success.” 

The stand-down was attended by CNRFC service members and civilians through a livestream broadcast. Schommer began the discussion by outlining expectations, reviewing the meaning of the oath to support and defend the Constitution, and options for responding to suspected extremist behavior. 

Several CNRFC Sailors remarked on the educational value of the discussion sessions.

“This is not easy stuff to talk about,” said Senior Chief Yeoman Steve Mundy. “A majority of us do the right thing everyday, so I really appreciate everyone coming together as adults to reaffirm our core values.”

“The training covered a lot of instructions and regulations that give guidelines for the definition of extremism,” said Information Systems Technician 1st Class Belen Simoneaux. “In addition to going over regulations, the training also included scenario-based questions which provided us with the opportunity to really discuss the topic openly.” 

Schommer said he looks forward to receiving feedback from stand-down discussions being held across the Reserve force.

“Our Reserve team has to be warfighting ready, anything that gets in the way is a limitation of our ability to be ready on day one,” he said. “I look forward to feedback on extremism discussions from across the Reserve and being able to say with confidence that we are unambiguously focused on one team and one fight.”

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