Soldiers strive to save lives with videos

FORT RUCKER, Ala. (June 8, 2009) - A video highlighting the important difference between good and bad safety decisions recently earned a team of Soldiers from Fort Bragg, N.C., top honors in the U.S. Army Combat Readiness/Safety Center's first Peer to Peer video competition.

Offering a candid look at issues including domestic violence, drug abuse and weapon safety, the winning video submitted by Spc. Marsha Millikin from 1st Battalion, 7th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, used humor and honest dialog to encourage Soldiers to always make good decisions.
The Army Safety Center launched the Peer to Peer video competition in September to "put safety in the hands of Soldiers," according Dr. Patricia LeDuc, USACR/Safety Center Human Factors Task Force director and Peer to Peer competition facilitator.

"With the launch of the Peer to Peer Video Competition, the U.S. Army Combat Readiness/Safety Center hoped to harness the power of peer influence to help prevent accidents and save lives," she said. "The competition tagline, 'Make a movie - save a life,' challenged Soldiers to personalize safety messaging by creating short videos promoting off-duty safety awareness."

During the submission period, which ended March 31, Soldiers from around the globe submitted 27 videos that covered topics ranging from cold weather safety to drinking and driving and safe sex. A video focusing on electrical fire prevention earned Sgt. Shawn Patton from 542nd Maintenance Company, Fort Lewis, Wa., second place honors. Third place was claimed by Staff Sgt. Jeremy Caine and Sgt. Christopher Black, both from the U.S. Army Health Clinic Hohenfels, Germany, for their video "Complacency."

"Most Soldiers have a favorite 'there I was' story and the video medium allowed them to share the benefit of their experience with an Army-wide audience," LeDuc said. "This competition capitalized on the power of peer influence, and extended its reach exponentially through the Web via various social media outlets like YouTube or Facebook."

Patton, who is currently deployed to Iraq, said electrical hazards in theater inspired him to submit his video about electrical safety in hopes of preventing future needless accidents.

"It's just a waste for anyone to get hurt over things that can be prevented," he said.
Patton said his goal while making the video was to not only pass important safety information to his fellow troops but also to make safety fun and interesting.

"We get class after class on the same things," he said. "When you spice up your training (with an interesting and amusing video), people pay attention."

Caine said the Peer to Peer competition was a great opportunity to bring his squad together to spread an important safety message.

"We hope that (our video will help) Soldiers and leaders realize that, though it may be easy at times to take short cuts and be complacent, doing so will result in consequences that could put Soldiers at risk," he said.

All 27 videos submitted during the Peer to Peer competition can be viewed and downloaded at https://safety.army.mil/videocompetition. The videos are also available on YouTube at www.youtube.com/user/USArmySafety.

The USACR/Safety Center is currently working with representatives from the Family and MWR Command's Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers organization to make the next Peer to Peer video competition bigger and better than the first. Information about the next round of the Peer to Peer competition will be released as it becomes available.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16