A storm has been developing in the depths of Uncle Sam’s floating fortresses, one of stress and pressure that is chewing at the souls of those who stand the watch. A recent Navy survey, canvassing the silent cries of 19,380 sailors, has thrown a stark light on a troubling surge in stress levels— a third of our brethren at sea grappling with the kind of pressure that cracks steel.

Let’s dive straight into the 2023 Navy Health of Force Report, released by the service on February 15, 2024.

The Brunt of the Burden: Junior Enlisted on the Frontlines

Back in 2019, a mere 26 percent of our sea warriors flagged high stress as a concern.

Fast forward to 2023, and the numbers have spiked, with the junior to mid enlisted ranks, those grunts from E-1 to E-6, bearing the brunt of this mental maelstrom.