U.S. Navy Captain Jeffrey D. Hutchinson recently assumed command as the Commanding Officer, Navy Region Center Singapore. A native of Maine, Hutchinson graduated from the University of Maine, where he received a bachelor’s degree in political science and was commissioned in May of 1990. He was designated a Naval Aviator in April of 1992. His previous duty stations include Helicopter Antisubmarine Squadron 5 (HS-5), Weapons and Tactics Instructor (WTI) pilot at HSWINGLANT Weapons Training Unit, CVW Staff Combat Search and Rescue/Sea Combat Officer at Carrier Air Wing Eight (CVW-8), Helicopter Antisubmarine Squadron 15 (HS-15), Theater Security Cooperation (TSC) lead planner at United States Central Command Headquarters, Commanding Officer Helicopter Sea Combat Weapons School Atlantic, Navigator USS Harry S Truman (CVN 75), Officer in Charge (OIC) Isa Air Base, Bahrain, and Deputy Warfighting Requirements and Helicopter Requirements Officer COMNAVAIRLANT. He has deployed aboard USS George Washington (CVN 73), USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71), USS Enterprise (CVN 65), and USS Harry S Truman (CVN 75) while working with Carrier Air Wing Seven (CVW-7), Carrier Air Wing Eight (CVW-8), and Carrier Air Wing Seventeen (CVW-17).
Hutchinson brings more than 26 years of exemplary naval experience into his role as the NRCS Commanding Officer. He recently sat down with the public affairs department for a “Q and A” session, highlighting his unique experiences and his goals for his time in Singapore.
Q: Can you tell us a little about your backstory?
A: “Absolutely. So I grew up in the state of Maine, in the central part of the state near a ski area called Sugarloaf. There was not a lot of military or US Navy exposure in that area other than my father, who served in the Navy during the Vietnam timeframe in the early 1960’s. My background has been ski racing, but I realized that skiing was not the future for me so I started to look for something else and I really got interested in aviation. It happened to be in 1986 my senior year of high school that the movie Top Gun came out, and it kind of sunk in that desire to fly. I always wanted to fly, I had a desire to do something more and get out of Maine and experience the world. My choice was to go into aviation, and I am very happy that I chose that direction. It has brought me to this point now.”
Seaman Apprentice Kiara Cromer is one of the newest editions to the Singapore military community as well as one of the newest editions to the Navy.
Cromer joined the Navy in March 2016, after being exposed to the military lifestyle through her father, an active duty Senior Chief Corpsman.
Following her completion of boot camp and Information Systems Technician (IT) “A” School, Cromer was assigned to Singapore for her first permanent duty station, becoming the only non-Petty Officer in the region as well as the only sailor in Singapore that is currently stationed at their first permanent duty station.
Cromer sat down with the Public Affairs Department to share her thoughts on the unique challenges and opportunities presented by being the only E3 and below service member stationed in the region.
Q: First, what inspired you to join the Navy?
A: I joined the navy on a whim. It was my senior year of high school in Japan, where my father was stationed, and I didn’t really have anything to do after graduation. I knew I wanted to travel, and seeing my dad travel all around the world throughout his naval career, I knew if I joined I would get that same opportunity. So I went back to Maryland, where I had spent the majority of time growing up, and decided to enlist.
Q: Can you tell me about your department?
A: I work for Naval Computer Telecommunications Station (NCTS) Far East Detachment Singapore. Our department is the local network service center, and we perform day-to-day operations on ONENET in order to support other commands in the region. It is very important work; you pretty much can’t do anything without a computer network.
Q: What your typical duties?
A: Right now, I am working on getting a few certifications so that I can become qualified and knowledgeable on the local systems. Once I complete those, I can start helping the team with information assurance, maintaining NIPR and SIPR connectivity, and ensuring the various departments in the region are able to communicate and perform their respective duties.
Navy Region Center Singapore (NRCS) recognized its 2017 Boys and Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) Military Youth of the Year recipient during an awards ceremony held at NRCS’ Terror Club Jan. 27, 2017.
This year’s winner was Ryan Walker, a high school student currently attending the Singapore American School. The installation BGCA Military Youth of the Year program is an annual program in which every Navy Child and Youth Program (CYP) selects a military youth of the year, who then goes on to participate at further levels of competition.
Adolescence is the period between childhood and adulthood and is generally divided into three groups - early, middle, late - which span ages 11 to 21. A child’s major tasks during the adolescent years are to define him/herself (i.e. establish own values, personal characteristics, style, friends, etc.) and learn to function independently of his/her parents. Changes take place in many spheres of an adolescent’s life to include biological, physical, sexual, and relational.
Adolescence is understandably a stressful time for both the adolescent and her/his parents. Unfortunately, on top of the normal stresses, some adolescents and their families have to confront the reality of teen dating violence. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, from 2012 to 2013, 13% of female high school students and 7.4% of male high school students experienced physical violence in a dating relationship and 14.4% of females and 6.2% of males experienced sexual violence in a dating relationship. Emotional and psychological abuse has been found to be even higher among high school students involved in dating relationships. Different studies estimate the presence of emotional and psychological abuse to be between 20% to 76%.
What is the best way for a parent to support and help an adolescent who is involved in an abusive relationship? First, parents need to recognize the warning signs that suggest an adolescent may be in a violent relationship. There may be physical signs such as unexplained physical injuries; more than likely, however, the signs will be behavioral and emotional. Some behavioral signs to be aware of include an adolescent who suddenly does not want to go to school or who starts to bring home failing grades, who begins to use alcohol and/or drugs, or who exhibits changes in eating (possible eating disorder).
"According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, from 2012 to 2013, 13% of female high school students and 7.4% of male high school students experienced physical violence in a dating relationship and 14.4% of females and 6.2% of males experienced sexual violence in a dating relationship." - Dulcy Stout
Emotionally, an adolescent may experience depression, exhibit decreases in self-esteem, or become suicidal. Additional signs to look out for: adolescent stops hanging out with friends and family, changes behavior to appease boy/girlfriend, or is tense and fearful around boy/girlfriend. The increase in the use of and the technology available on mobile devices has given offenders a new platform on which to monitor and control their partners. Parents should be mindful of an adolescent who unexpectedly stops using her/his mobile device; who appears to be angry, depressed, or frustrated after texting, chatting, or using social media; or who uses her/his mobile device at all hours of the night. None of these signs in and of themselves means an adolescent is necessarily involved in an abusive relationship, but they should alert parents that something is probably amiss with their adolescent. Second, parents should not assume that an adolescent involved in an abusive relationship will go to them for help. There are many reasons an adolescent may remain quiet. An adolescent may feel embarrassed or ashamed, may fear punishment from a parent or that the parent will tell her/him to stop seeing the abuser, or may not recognize the behavior as abusive.
Parents should take the initiative to begin a conversation with their adolescent when they observe one of the above signs. How do parents have what will definitely be a difficult conversation with their adolescent? Most importantly, parents should approach their adolescent in a caring, respectful, and non-judgmental way. Criticizing, preaching too, and interrogating will only shut down an adolescent. Parents can communicate their concerns by focusing on the changes in behaviors or emotions they have observed in their adolescent. After this, it is vital that parents listen to their adolescent. This may require allowing moments (or minutes) of silence. This can be difficult, especially during tense and anxious times when it is common to talk just to avoid awkward silence. Another difficult, yet essential, task for parents is to refrain from bad mouthing the abuser. Parents may discuss specific behaviors of the abuser, but personal attacks may cause an adolescent to defend the abuser and push her closer to him. Although this may be the ultimate goal and what is best for the adolescent in the long run, parents should never insist that an adolescent stop seeing the abuser. Like bad mouthing, this may just push her closer to the abuser.
More importantly, however, leaving an abusive relationship is a very dangerous time and not something that an adolescent should do without talking it through with a trusted adult and making a safety plan. Safety plans are available at www.loveisrespect.org. If at any time an adolescent is found to be in physical danger from the abuser, a parent must insist on involving law enforcement. In Singapore, the first call a parent should make would be to NCIS. The Special Agent can assist the parent and adolescent in contacting and communicating with the Singapore Police. NCIS can be reached during the day at 6750-2400 and after hours at 9012-6162.
Teen dating violence can be a traumatic event. Recovery is certainly possible for adolescents as well as their families. An individual therapist can help with the healing process as well as provide additional support and guidance. Clinical counseling is available at the Family Service Office (6750-2319). On-line resources are also available at Loveisrespect (www.loveisrespect.org) and the National Domestic Violence Hotline (http://www.thehotline.org/).