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Secretary of the Navy

-Secretariat > ADR
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DON ADR Course Catalogue Available! ​Real Comments by Real People About ADR

Please download our August 2007 DON ADR Program Office Course Catalogue to learn how the DON ADR Program can work with your command.

Learn About ADR - Try Our Online Introduction to ADR


Employees & managers give the ADR Program a lot of positive comments.  These are real comments from real mediation participants: 

Thanks and I know we can move on from here:

This mediation was extraordinary professional.



 … to workplace conflict! The Department of the Navy offers a variety of “alternative dispute resolution” (ADR) techniques that employees and managers can use to turn unproductive conflicts into meaningful resolutions. Did you know:

    • In FY07 the DON had a 77% resolution rate over 500 workplace cases that used various forms of ADR?
    • 89% of participants would use mediation again?

The DON’s policy is to use ADR to resolve conflict “to the maximum extent practicable.” (SECNAVINST 5800.13A) Click on the links below to learn more about:

 Or just visit the DON ADR Program Office at www.adr.navy.mil.

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                ADR News


In a recent All Hands Message to the Naval Sea Systems Command, VADM Paul Sullivan wrote,
“In 1999, the Navy developed the ADR program, designed to increase informal resolution of workplace grievances. It was also designed to enhance team building and communication between managers and employees. Navy wide, in 2007 we achieved a 77 percent resolution rate for the 500 workplace cases that entered the ADR process. Our employees and managers at NAVSEA also participate in ADR. This is extremely important to us because workplace conflicts can sometimes be complex, and can drain focus and energy from the work we need to do. I look upon resolution, especially the resolution that involves both parties developing a newfound respect for each other, as a force multiplier. In my view, ADR is a way to build a stronger NAVSEA. I congratulate our entire NAVSEA workforce for participation in ADR during 2007 and ask that we consider ADR to be a valuable and effective tool in resolving workplace conflicts. I think it is VERY important to get disputes resolved quickly, move on with dignity, and keep us working as a team. I offer to you that a 77 percent success rate is pretty good odds. If you are in a tough situation, give it a try, please.
The DON ADR Program appreciates VADM Sullivan’s message, and encourages ALL commands in the DON, not just NAVSEA, to use ADR “to the maximum extent.” See SECNAVINST 5800.13A.


The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERA) defines employment rights of reservists and National Guard Members. Trained volunteers and the Ombudsmen Services national staff are available to promptly respond to inquiries and conflicts presented by employees or employers. To learn more, visit their website. Notably, more than 95 percent of all such requests for assistance are resolved in this informal process.  

The United States Institute of Environmental Conflict Resolution offers open training sessions at various locations throughout the year.


The DON ADR Program Office now offers another, less formal ADR option to consider: Agency Mediation.


A new Secretary of the Navy Instruction (SECNAVINST 5800.13A, "Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Policy and Mission of the DON ADR Program Office, "22 Dec 2005.") was signed on December 22, 2005. The new instruction retains the basic DON ADR policy to use ADR to the maximum extent practicable. It also provides additional guidance on confidentiality, the use of ADR agreements, and binding arbitration. It also:
    • Defines the mission of the DON ADR Program Office.
    • Requires shore commands at the Echelon I and II levels to appoint an Activity Dispute Resolution Specialist (ADRS)
    • Eliminates the requirement of implementing instructions
    • Requires coordination of ADR initiatives with the DON ADR Program.
Commands seeking further information, and details on the role of the ADRS should send an email to the program.


The United States Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution (USIECR), a small federal agency, helps other federal agencies and interested parties resolve environmental, natural resource and public lands conflicts. The DON successfully used the institute's services in the past (see AnacostiaMediation.doc ), and the DON ADR Program is please to announce a new interagency agreement that will allow Navy and Marine Corps activities to get a high quality mediator or facilitator FAST. The agreement also provides training and case assessment services. Since DON ADR Program has partially FUNDED the agreement, the institute can get to work on your project immediately!