1. On 17 February 2014, our nation officially observes the birthday of George Washington as its first President, one of its most important military leaders and its founding father. This holiday should have special meaning for all of us, as many of our missions serve those in and around the city that bears his name.

2. George Washington once said, ?"Nothing can be more hurtful to the service, than the neglect of discipline"; this applies to all of us, both on and off-duty. As we celebrate this holiday, our military members, Civilians, and their Families will travel, participate in winter sports or other activities, spend time with friends and family, and otherwise enjoy the long weekend. I urge each of you to exercise self-discipline by carefully managing the risks associated with your time away from work. Before hitting the road, participating in recreational activities, or consuming alcohol, consider the hazards involved and take measures to keep yourself and those around you out of danger.

3. Commanders and supervisors must huddle with subordinate personnel and leaders to reinforce this message. Safety briefings prior to this holiday weekend will include discussions on the buddy system, alcohol consumption, motor vehicle operation, and winter weather safety at a minimum. Discipline in these areas is essential for maintaining an accident and incident free holiday. Information and materials on these topics are available from the U.S. Army Combat Readiness/Safety Center at https://safety.army.mil/multimedia.

4. I wish each of you a safe and enjoyable weekend and thank you for your continued vigilant service.

MG, US Army