H1N1 letter from the Commander
May 13, 2009
Dear Families and Soldiers of The Old Guard:
I realize the recent outbreak of the H1N1 "Swine Influenza" has many people concerned about the safety and health of themselves and their loved ones. Our leaders and members of our chain-of-command are watching the situation carefully. We participate in updates and briefings with great frequency to ensure that we have up to date information and appropriate plans. Right now, we don't see any cause for immediate alarm.
Because we don't see the need for alarm does not mean that we aren't taking prudent precautions. We are being proactive. On April 27, 09 we screened all of our Soldiers who had traveled to affected areas. None of these Soldiers exhibited signs or symptoms of the H1N1 virus. We are also thinking through how we should modify our operations if there is a wide-spread outbreak in this area, and what we should do if one of our Soldiers tests positive for this strain of flu.
As an additional precautionary measure, we are closely monitoring the need for any Soldier to travel to or through the areas with confirmed flu cases. Based on information released by the Department of Defense and the Center for Disease Control, I have not enforced any limitations on our missions in the National Capital Region. However, Soldier travel in the Continental United States to or through affected areas is now being approved at the battalion commander level. I am approving travel to or through affected areas outside the Continental United States. When these Soldier return from approved leave, pass, or temporary duty in affected areas they will be screened at the Regimental Aid Station prior to resuming their duty.
To help you maintain access to the most current, credible information related to the H1N1 Swine Flu virus, we have posted links on the regimental webpage at: www.army.mil/oldguard. These links include informational websites from the Center for Disease Control and the Army Surgeon General. We will do our best to keep the information on this site updated and accurate so that you can remain aware of how this virus may affect you and your loved ones.
Finally, as an officer, citizen, and taxpayer, I'd be remiss if I didn't close by thanking you and your loved ones for your service. Since 1784 members of this Regiment have served our nation through war and peace. It's an honor to have the privilege of serving alongside Soldiers and their Families who continue that tradition in the US Army's oldest active serving regiment.
Joseph P. Buche
Colonel, US Army