MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. -- Marine Corps Exchanges world-wide are changing the way alcohol is sold aboard Marine Corps installations following guidance by Gen. James F. Amos, the commandant of the Marine Corps.
The new policy limits the time alcohol can be purchased aboard bases from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Liquor will no longer be sold at Marine Marts adjacent to barracks, and the amount of floor space used for alcohol will be limited to no more than 10 percent of total retail selling floor.
Beginning Nov. 1, French Creek, Stone Bay and Marine Corps Air Station New River’s Marine Aircraft Group 29 Marine Marts will stop selling liquor, and store space dedicated to alcohol sales will be reduced at the Tarawa Terrace, Midway Park and Berkley Manor Marine Marts aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune.
The policy change emphasizes how serious the Marine Corps is taking irresponsible drinking, said Robin Schoolfield, the Resilience Education manager.
“Marines will be more conscious of how much they drink,” said Schoolfield. “They have to plan how much they want to drink ahead of time. They won’t be able to walk over in the middle of the night to buy alcohol.”
The policy change may cause some to realize how much they are drinking, Schoolfield added.
“The culture is changing toward more responsible, low-risk drinking,” said Schoolfield. “Between these policy changes and prevention efforts, I think a message is being sent across all ranks that we must have responsible drinking behavior.”
Policy change and education are some of the key factors with ensuring a culture change where alcohol use is deglamorized, said Schoolfield.
Removing some of the convenience of purchasing alcohol is one way to discourage excessive drinking, said Staff Sgt. Stephen Prince, a substance abuse control officer with Headquarters and Support Battalion aboard Camp Lejeune.
“It’s not the end-all-be-all, but there’s no question about it, it will have a positive impact on Marines,” said Prince.
The policy change comes in support of the Secretary of Navy's 2lst Century Sailor and Marine initiative, as well as Marine Corps specific initiatives in the areas of behavioral health, sexual assault prevention and response and health promotion.
“The Marine Corps is taking the 2lst Century Sailor and Marine initiative seriously, and this is our way to support the program,” said Carl Mencer, the director of retail with Marine Corps Community Services aboard Camp Lejeune.
For more information about the 2lst Century Sailor and Marine Initiative, visit www.21stcentury.navy.mil.
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