Mentoring young motorists
April 9, 2010
FORT HOOD, Texas-Driving dangerously-whether on a motorcycle or a Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected armored vehicle-can be catastrophic.
To help ensure that Soldiers take the same precautions on a motorcycle that they would on a tank or a Bradley, motorcycle mentors from 4th Squadron, 9th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, led 15 riders on a safety ride through Fort Hood, Texas, March 29.
"What we are trying to do is teach safety," said Sgt. 1st Class Baldomero Moreno, a San Antonio native. "Safety not only on post, but off post as well, so we can prevent accidents."
Although taking part in safety rides at least once every quarter is mandatory for Soldiers wishing to ride motorcycles on post, this ride was about more than just filling the requirements; it was about training young riders and building a team spirit, according to Baldomero.
"This is Fort Hood policy," said Cpt. Eric Dunkley, from Spokane, Wash., who, along with Moreno, helped plan the ride.
The ride gave both Dunkley and Moreno an opportunity to plan the ride and write a standard operating procedure for motorcyclists within the unit, he said.
This operating procedure covers riding and safety, as well as purchasing and maintaining a motorcycle.
"We went pretty in-depth with this," he said.
The operating procedure is meant to address both novice and experienced riders.
And now that the squadron's riders have had a chance to read over the procedures, the riders got a chance to put them into practice during the safety ride.
"The primary focus of this is to take the more experienced riders and have them help train the novice riders to help reduce the number of accidents," said Dunkley.
Following the ride, the riders told Moreno and Dunkley what they liked about the ride and what needed improvement for future sessions.
"We want to improve ourselves," he said about the riders. "We gain experience and become safer riders and we can also give back to...younger, inexperienced riders who are joining the program," said Dunkley.
Both Dunkley and Moreno hope to make these rides a monthly event, giving the busy Soldiers in the Squadron plenty of opportunities to hop on their bikes, enjoy a ride in the sun, and even learn a thing or two from other riders.