Twentynine Palms -- Through recruit training, Officer Candidate’s School, deployments and promotions, Marines work hard to accomplish their goals. In order to help Marines stay mission ready, Marine leaders are striking up conversations on how to “Protect What You’ve Earned.”
PWYE is more than a campaign — it is a message meant to encourage Marines and sailors to communicate, promote the development of peer support systems and responsible decision making and actions. While alcohol misuse is a main focus of the initiative, it has expanded to emphasize good decision-making in all aspects of a Marine or sailor’s life.
“In order for the Marines to understand why protecting what they’ve earned is so important, they need to identify what things in their lives they value the most,” said Carleen Dickson, prevention education coordinator, Substance Abuse Counseling Center. “It’s not just drugs and alcohol but anything that could cost you your rank or your job.”
PWYE is intended to reinforce the Marine’s inherent desire to safeguard their life-long investments and achievements, not the least of which is the title, “Marine.” By providing Marines with the knowledge of the potential consequences of their actions, it instills internal individual accountability.
“One of the classes that we teach on base is Prime for Life,” Dickson said. “We begin by having the Marines identify the top 10 most important things they value. It puts these things in the forefront of their minds when they are making decisions in order to keep those things safe.”
In addition to courses such as Prime for Life, leaders on every level are encouraged to incorporate PWYE through guided discussions, mentoring and counseling. With no policies, requirements, training packages or inspection checklists; PWYE is not a program, rather a mindset that is spread from Marine leader to Marine and reinforced on a peer-to-peer level.
“It’s really all about encouraging Marines and sailors to make decisions that are in their own best interests,” Dickson said.