Sailor’s Cautionary Tale About Coping with Hardships Through Alcohol Use

By Chief of Naval Personnel Public Affairs


The Keep What You’ve Earned campaign released its latest testimonial video Jan. 29 as part of a series featuring Sailor’s personal stories about how alcohol incidents impacted their careers, and the importance of drinking responsibly.

The latest video features Personnel Specialist 2nd Class Kathryn Cummings from Naval Operational Support Center (NOSC) Norfolk. She shares how a personal hardship led to destructive drinking habits and excessive alcohol use.

Struggling with personal issues, Cummings thought that a night of heavy drinking would be just what she needed, but a night of binge drinking led to even more trouble – this time with her career.

In the newly released video, Cummings says she thought she did everything right. She called a taxi and got home safe. However, her decision to binge drink still affected her career when she was late to work and received a “fit for duty” screening.

After failing her screening, Cummings was referred to her command Substance Abuse Rehabilitation Program (SARP) and got the help she needed. She now has regular meetings with her command Drug and Alcohol Program Advisor (DAPA), Chief Personnel Specialist Howard Dickerson, who said that Cummings is a “stellar Sailor” who strives to be an example to others.

“Responsible drinking is so important – especially these days where everyone is competing to stay in (the Navy),” said Cummings.

She now spends her time working out, volunteering and hanging out with more responsible friends.
According to the Center for Disease Control, binge drinking has become so common that more than half of alcohol consumption in the U.S. is in the form of binge drinking.

“We want Sailors to understand that we aren’t trying to stop them from drinking all together, but that if they choose to drink, we want them to do so responsibly,” said Dorice Favorite, director of the Navy Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention Office. “If a night of drinking affects your ability to show up for work and do your job, that’s when we know there is a problem.”

Cumming’s testimonial is part of the Keep What You’ve Earned video series. Each testimonial reminds Sailors of the importance of drinking responsibly and keeping what you’ve earned.

You can watch all the Keep What You’ve Earned videos at For more information, and to help promote responsible drinking at your command, visit
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