Brigadier General William T. Wolf, Director of Army Safety, Commanding General, U.S. Army Combat Readiness / Safety Center

The strong commitment to safety that is driving the 1st Infantry Division's growing record of motorcycle- and vehicle-fatality free days is something to celebrate and emphasize during the upcoming high risk holiday months, the Director of Army Safety said last week.

"This (record) is a tribute to the Soldiers who are part of the Big Red One and to the leaders who are looking out for them," Brig. Gen. William Wolf, the commanding general of the U.S. Army Combat Readiness/Safety Center, said Nov. 30 during a visit to this Central Kansas post. "Be proud of the significance of what you have done here and continue to focus on taking care of each other."

More than 370 days have passed since a 1st Inf. Div. Soldier, Family member or civilian assigned to Fort Riley has died in a privately owned vehicle or privately owned motorcycle accident. The last recorded fatality occurred in the early morning hours of Nov. 25, 2010, when a division Soldier was killed in a vehicle rollover in Oklahoma City.

Paul Inman, the 1st Inf. Div. Safety Director, attributes the division's notable safety record to a combination of factors including good leadership, education, and a BRO culture that emphasizes the importance of Soldiers taking care of Soldiers.

"It's all about the taking care of your brother mentality," Inman said. "Leadership can only go so far because leaders can't be everywhere all the time. We are all comrades in arms and need to look out for each other -- BRO Soldiers do that very well."

Inman said a command emphasis on educating Soldiers how to plan for everything from a night out with friends to a cross country trip is making a difference out on the road.

"Our units are tight and the Soldiers are looking out for each other," he said. "If five or six of them are going out, they identify a designated driver or come up with a plan for how to get home."

This year is not the first time the 1st Inf. Div. and Fort Riley have seen the number of road fatality-free days grow so high. In 2008, the installation made it to 500 days without a fatality -- a record that still stands Armywide. Inman said this record is well within the reach of today's 1st Inf. Div. formation.

"I think we can achieve a lot more fatality-free days and hopefully surpass that number," he said. "I think that a critical time is coming up though and buddies and Family members will become an even more important part of the safety equation during the holiday season. Getting to 500 days and beyond comes down to a matter of people caring and BROs taking care of BROs."

Page last updated Wed December 7th, 2011 at 12:23