One in Three US Navy Sailors Experiences Extreme Stress: Survey

An annual US Navy survey has found that one in every 3 sailors experienced severe or extreme levels of stress in 2023.

Out of the 19,380 service members who participated in the survey, 37 percent reported experiencing extreme stress last year.

This is a sizable jump over the 26 percent reported in 2019.

Junior enlisted sailors between the ranks of E-1 and E-6 reported the highest number of severely-stressed individuals at more than 40 percent. Meanwhile, only 30 percent of junior officers and 27 percent of senior officers reported similar stress.

“Consistent with the results for stress, results indicate that E-1 through E-6 are most likely to have high levels of burnout,” the report noted.

Inadequate staffing topped the list of reasons for heightened stress levels, followed by issues related to quality of life.

More People Want to Leave

The 2023 survey found that an alarming 23 percent of US Navy sailors said their plans for exiting the service were already certain.

The figure was three times the rate of 2022.

Additionally, roughly 20 percent of those surveyed admitted to being “on the fence” about staying in the navy.

The most commonly cited factors were civilian career opportunities, salary, desire to focus on family, and the difficulty balancing work and personal lives.

On the other hand, the factors cited influencing others to stay are job security, salary, and retirement benefits.

In response to the survey findings, a US Navy official told that the service will “remain cognizant that there is still work to do in providing sailors the tools needed to better manage stress and burnout.”

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