PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- The Soldier slated to become director of Army safety delivered a strong message to members of his current command: "Think and apply self discipline to keep you and your family out of harm's way."

When Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Farnsworth talked to Soldiers, civilians and contractor employees June 12, he was the deputy commanding general for operations for the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command stationed at Peterson Air Force Base. Later in the day, Farnsworth departed to Fort Rucker, Ala., for his next assignment as director of Army safety and commander of the Army Combat Readiness/Safety Center.

"We're all one team," he said at the Safety Stand-Down Day for the command's operational headquarters in Colorado Springs. "The health of the force depends on all of us."

The event featured information tables and demonstrations from about 20 public safety agencies and companies.

Farnsworth noted that the summer season is the most dangerous, due to longer daylight hours and increased recreational activities such as boating, outdoor cooking and vacation traveling.

Personal motor vehicle accidents, including motorcycles, continue to be the leading cause of fatalities for Soldiers and Army civilians. Contributing factors in this category are risky behavior, traveling at high speed, and drinking and driving, Farnsworth said.

An important step is to identify people at high risk and apply mentoring and leadership, he said. Be sure to factor in risk mitigation and think ahead of time, Farnsworth added.

"Safety is a philosophy of life," he said. "You have to have the self-discipline to factor it into everything you do."

In the exhibit area, keeping animal companions safe during the summer was the focus of information provided by Sgt. 1st Class Frances Drumm, a member of the 100th Missile Defense Brigade. Her recommendations for pet owners: Have an evacuation kit on hand with leashes, food, water, bowls, toys and a crate or carrier for the animal. Take photos of pets and give them identifying microchips in case they run away or get lost. Always remove animals from parked vehicles, especially in hot or cold weather.

"Seventy-five degrees outdoors can become 108 degrees in a vehicle very quickly," Drumm said.

Farnsworth used the occasion to deliver some parting remarks to the command's workforce.

"You're a great team of talent, expertise and dedication," he said. "I look forward to seeing you again, perhaps. Lightning may strike."