Milano: Make most of holiday season
December 14, 2011
FORT JACKSON, S.C. -- My wife, Kim, and I wish all of you a very joyous and safe holiday season.
Enjoy this very special time of the year and take the opportunity to spend some well-deserved down time with your family and friends.
I am extremely proud of each and every one of you. The Soldiers, civilians and Family members here on Fort Jackson are second to none. You hold a very special place in my heart and in the hearts of the community in which you live and work. All of you are critical to our mission and contribute greatly to the Army's overall mission.
I hope each of you takes advantage of our Victory Block Leave and, while doing so, I expect you to conduct yourselves responsibly and appropriately.
You are representing the U.S. Army at all times -- 24/7/365 -- in or out of uniform, on or off duty, supervised or unsupervised, you are the Army. Remember that discipline and Army pride do not take days off. And, while you are on leave, keep in mind that the media often looks for human interest stories, one of the most popular of which is a story about Soldiers returning home for the holidays.
If approached by the media in an airport or other public place during the holidays, do the Army proud. Be honest and forthright and only talk about what you know. It's OK to share your feelings, but remember to stay in your lane and not to speak for other Soldiers or for the command.
Exercise good judgment and maintain good safety practices when taking part in any and holiday celebrations and festivities. As always, your welfare is my main concern. Under no circumstances do I want to lose any of you or find out that you have been injured in an accident that could have been avoided.
I am expecting you to do your part in taking care of yourself and all those around you. Keep your eye on the ball and your head in the game at all times and think before you act. Recognize and manage the risks associated with holiday celebrations, time off and traveling to and from.
If you are driving, be aware of safe vehicle operation and the rules of the road. Under no circumstances should you ever drink and drive or get into a vehicle driven by someone who has been drinking -- friends, Family members, whoever is behind the wheel after a few, they're wrong. Alcohol and driving are a deadly, no-win combination.
During this holiday season, take some extra time to reflect on our Soldiers and other military members who are not with their Families or at home because they are defending the many liberties and freedoms that make our country the greatest one in the world.
Again, have a very safe and joyous holiday season and return safely.
Cherish the opportunity to spend time with those close to you; you don't know if you'll be able to do the same next year. Ask any senior leader on this installation about how many of those special holidays and occasions he or she has missed throughout his or her career.
They're considerable, and so make the most of the time you have. Remember, your mission is not complete until you return safely to Fort Jackson. You are important to Fort Jackson's success and to the success of the Army as a whole. Happy holidays! Return safely!
Army Strong and Victory Starts Here!