Stay safe, avoid risk
November 26, 2010
- Commentary by 3rd ID deputy commanding general, Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Phillips
- Now that most our troops are home, we must still work to avoid risk to stay safe
<b>FORT STEWART, Ga.</b> - It's now possible to get stuck in traffic on Fort Stewart, and, I presume, on Hunter Army Airfield. That's a problem we who have served with the rear detachments for the past year welcome, as do our Families, Army Civilians and our supportive communities "outside the gate." It means that those Soldiers of the Marne Division who deployed last fall are coming home.
While the division isn't yet "home" - this redeployment won't be concluded until December, and our Vanguard Brigade and elements of the 3rd Sustainment Brigade are still serving magnificently in harm's way - it's good to see unit colors uncased and Soldiers back among us and with their Families. We all look forward to the days ahead when Provider and Vanguard too return.
Home from war doesn't mean home from danger; here's an excerpt from Monday's Commander's Critical Information Requirement's report:
<i>"At approximately 200100NOV10, [three Combat Aviation Brigade NCOs] were mugged by two armed men in downtown Savannah, GA. The two men approached the Soldiers looking for money. [One NCO] handed over $250 to the first assailant and the man left the scene immediately. The second assailant asked for more money. When he was not given money, he fired five shots at [another NCO] and then dropped the gun. The Soldiers grabbed the gun and the assailant ran away from the scene. [One NCO] was shot once through the right ankle. The Soldiers were taken to St. Joseph's Candler Hospital ER ... for treatment."</i>
Downtown Savannah is truly a great and welcoming place but, like anywhere, risks can arise. While, as my mother said, "nothing good happens after two in the morning" (and this occurred close to that magic hour), at least these three Falcon Soldiers were "buddied up." You can be sure we're cooperating with local authorities to find the assailants.
While risks can arise anywhere, we want to minimize them. One place they're arising too quickly is on our post roads. Garrison Commander Col. Kevin Milton just e-mailed me the Fort Stewart and Hunter Army Airfield traffic ticket rollup from the first two weeks of November. It isn't pretty: forty-six citations in two weeks, most for speeding. Most of the speeders got nailed for at least 12 MPH above the limit, which opens them up to battalion-level UCMJ actions for violations occurring anywhere in the greater reservation (for speeding in the garrison area, it's 7 or more MPH above the limit).
Speeding is illegal because it's dangerous. It's irresponsible conduct for someone on whom others depend.
It's also dangerous for Soldiers to be mentally impaired, and that's why what's commonly called "spice" is off limits - illegal for use by Soldiers. This stuff mimics the effects of pot. Uncle Sam doesn't permit Soldiers to use dope, so it certainly isn't going to permit some other form of it. Use spice, get caught and suffer the consequences.
And if for awhile, the user's luck holds and he or she gets away with it, who pays the price when a chemically relaxed brain lets a foot slip off the brake - and a buddy gets crimped between bumpers' Or a child crossing at the corner can't dodge fast enough'
Home should be a place where the risk goes down. That won't happen without every one of us keeping our head in the game and our team on our mind.