Hello U.S. Army Europe Team,

Over the last few months I have had the opportunity to visit several units within U.S. Army Europe and speak with commanders and leaders, both military and civilian, at every level.

I am continually impressed by the world-class Soldiers and civilians that we have in our workforce, accomplishing a complex, strategic mission here in Europe every day.

That's why it's especially difficult for me every morning when I review the military police blotter reports from across USAREUR, and whether it is an assault, sexual or otherwise, a DUI or other types of misconduct, many incidents involve alcohol.

The correlation is not coincidental.

Heavy drinking and overindulgence in alcohol is a challenge that we must address directly and personally as leaders. I want all leaders at every level to talk to your teams about responsible use of alcohol, set conditions that encourage subordinate leader and peer support, and personally engage your Soldiers.

I am certain that if we reduce overindulgence in alcohol, we will reduce acts of indiscipline which run counter to our Army values and save lives. Abuse of alcohol is all too often an indicator of underlying issues that require vigilance and intervention from leaders at every level in the chain of command.

Our most precious asset -- our people -- deserve nothing but the best care and support. At the first and earliest indicators, take action and get our teammates the resources they need to get back on track.

This is a winnable fight. Continue to talk to your Soldiers, civilians and families about the hazards of overindulgence in alcohol and the consequences of that behavior. Establish barracks security protocols and conduct no-notice walk-throughs of common areas at random times.

Care about your Soldiers, civilians and family members at all times, on or off duty, in the barracks or off-post. Together, we can combat these problems that degrade our profession and destroy lives.

I hold leaders responsible for instilling the essence of our Army Values and Warrior Ethos into their Soldiers so they are not words on a card, but rather a way of life.

We must be disciplined and adhere to our standards if we are to retain our public trust and represent our country honorably as ambassadors to our host nations here in Europe.

Strong Soldiers! Strong Teams!

Page last updated Tue August 6th, 2013 at 04:01