Navy authorities analyze the unprecedented number of sailors leaving the military to understand this anomalous occurrence.
The Navy lost 157 sailors in 2018, compared to 98 in 2020 and 63 in 2019. Navy authorities could not explain the rise of NBC; instead, they cited the “many pressures” in the military. In February, junior troops and sailors told Navy Times that they lacked “fundamental elements of life.” Recently, Master Chief Petty Officer Russell Smith informed sailors that a “staggering” number of sailors are leaving the Navy due to poor housing and living circumstances. Two Navy deserters remaining at large as of 9 May were from the aircraft carrier USS George Washington.
According to Military.com, the Navy “still prioritizes other development needs,” such as shipyards above homes. An attorney reports that mental health has been mentioned as a factor in roughly 1,000 instances of Navy desertion. A Navy veteran said that mental health knowledge is “such a low priority in today’s Navy.” Julien Napoli said that the Navy had been stuck in a leadership crisis for years. “Take care of your employees, and they will care for you,” said Napoli.