Post run centers on safety, professionalism
December 20, 2013
FORT RUCKER, Ala. (December 20, 2013) -- As Fort Rucker prepares for the holiday season, senior leadership wants to make sure Soldiers get off on the right foot with holiday tidings and the right attitude.
Hundreds of Soldiers braved sub-freezing temperatures and gathered on Howze Field for the post run Dec. 13 during which Maj. Gen. Kevin W. Mangum, U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence and Fort Rucker commanding general, offered words of holiday cheer and encouraged safety.
"On behalf of everybody at Fort Rucker, I want to wish everyone a very merry Christmas and happy holidays," he said before the run. "I know it's a week before we step off for exodus, but I wanted to make sure that we extend our holiday greetings and (ensure) that your individual safety commands will be giving you your safety briefs. We want to make sure to see everybody's happy faces back here for another great year in 2014."
After the brief, Mangum, along with Command Sgt. Maj. James H. Thomson Jr., command sergeant major of the Aviation Branch, and CW5 Allen R. Godfrey, Chief Warrant Officer of the Aviation Branch, led the Soldiers to finish out the post run.
"It's important for senior leaders to get involved and express to the Soldiers how important safety is over exodus," said Sgt. Maj. Marvin Pinckney, USAACE G-3. "That's the point of this year's post run -- to stress the significance of Soldiers taking care of themselves during these off-duty hours."
Staff Sgt. David Seymour, small group leader instructor at the NCO Academy, agreed that personal responsibility must fall on Soldiers when it comes to the personal safety of themselves and their Families.
"I feel safety is paramount, especially during exodus and off-duty hours because during that time we become more of an individual," he said. "In groups it's much easier to stress safety and practice safety, but when you're by yourself, there are other things to focus on like friends, Family and having fun.
"When that's the case, people tend to not focus on the safety aspect of things. It's important that it is stressed during the holiday season so that you can still enjoy yourself, but do it in a manner that is safe," Seymour continued.
Not only did Mangum express his concern for the Soldiers, but he also took the opportunity to thank the Soldiers for their service, especially during the holiday season.
"The most special thing about the holidays is giving," he said. "Thank you for giving us the most special gift you can, and that's your gift of selfless service to a cause higher than self."
Seymour said it was comforting to see that senior leadership cared enough to take the effort and remind their Soldiers to take care of themselves during their time off.
"You get encouraged and you get that sense of esprit de corps when senior leadership gets involved," he said. "When you incorporate safety with esprit de corps, you get a whole sense of belonging and the feeling that (your senior leaders) care about you."