Regimental safety day emphasizes off duty safety
May 26, 2011
“We are a family, with our fellow Soldiers on duty, and we know how to keep each other safe. However, it’s important for Soldiers to learn how to keep their own personal families safe off duty,” said Sgt. 1st Class Markanthony Taylor, 529th Regimental Support Company truck master, 3d U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard).
This was the theme as Soldiers of the 3d U.S. Inf. Reg. learned the importance of not only practicing safety disciplines on duty but off duty as well during the regiment’s safety day at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall May 23. Soldiers maneuvered through various stations which emphasized the importance of safe driving practices, water safety, tool safety, fire safety, traffic safety and gun safety.
“The reason we focus on off duty safety is because when we are on duty, we have squad leaders, platoon sergeants and our buddies looking after us,” said Kerry Kolhof, regimental safety manager, responsible for organizing the regiment’s safety day. “The problem is when we get home, we don’t have those people looking out for us. When we get home, we are the squad leaders and we have to do our own risk assessments.”
Staff Sgt. Rebecca Box, a 529th Regimental Support Company platoon sergeant said the training was good and realistic. Box rode in a Seat Belt Convincer, a simulation tool which allows riders to experience force up to five times their body weight, similar to that of a 5-7 mph crash.
“5 mph is pretty rough,” said Box. “I can imagine going faster. If I didn’t have on a seatbelt, I probably would have come out of the seat.”
In keeping with safe driving practices, Pfc. Jarrod Edwards, a supply clerk from Alpha Company, 4th Battalion, 3d U.S. Inf. Reg., tried his luck at shooting a basketball into a basketball hoop wearing Fatal Vision Goggles, which simulate an experience of driving while under the influence of alcohol or other drugs.
“I felt unbalanced,” said Edwards. “My vision was severely impaired. It made me realize how you can think you are straight but everything is to the left or right.”
Colonel David P. Anders, The Old Guard regimental commander, ultimately believes Soldiers must have a plan at all times.
“Whether you’re going out at night or going out in the day, have a plan,” said Anders to a crowd of Soldiers during the regiment’s safety day. “If you’re going to be drinking, have a designated driver. Wherever you are going, make sure you know how you are getting there and how you are getting back safely. The men and women who are standing right here are this regiment’s greatest resource. The leadership cares about you and your safety.”