Holiday Safety Message
December 12, 2012
This holiday season, families all across America will gather with friends and neighbors to rekindle relationships, honor holiday traditions, and renew the hope and spirit that is part of this special time of year. During these gatherings, I ask everyone to be thankful for a wonderful year of achievement, tireless execution of missions too numerous to mention, and hopes for continued success, health, and happiness in the coming New Year.
While the holiday season is a happy time, it can also be a stressful time for many in our command, and in our Families. I ask leaders to be especially mindful of those going through difficult times, and/or separated from loved ones -- especially our deployed Service Members and their Families. Consider opening your homes to single Soldiers and those geographically separated from their Families, while re-invigorating your buddy systems. Everyone should have an assigned buddy, and no one should be alone during this time of year.
Please keep SAFETY foremost in mind as you celebrate the holiday seasons and the arrival of the New Year 2013! Over the next month, many of our Soldiers and civilians will travel out of town to visit loved ones. Motor vehicle accidents are the number one killer of Soldiers. New Year's Day is the deadliest day of the year for speeding-related fatal vehicle crashes. During the holiday season, alcohol is related to 54 percent of all fatal New Year's Day accidents, and 38 percent of Christmas Eve and Day accidental deaths. Other factors include inadequate winter driving skills, speeding, driving without seatbelts, and failing to enforce standards peer-to-peer. To assist leaders in mitigating risk, Commanders and Leaders must ensure Soldiers complete TRiPS before traveling over the holidays. Civilians are also encouraged to use TRiPS. The TRiPS tool may be found at https://crc.army.mil/home/.
I would like to personally wish each of you a joyous holiday season, and ask everyone to safely return to duty, ready for another exciting year in 2013. Army Safe is Army Strong!
Michael S. Linnington
Maj. Gen. U.S. Army