Since 1894, Labor Day has officially been our Nation's time to celebrate the accomplishments of the American workforce. Grover Cleveland, the President at the time, once said, "A truly American sentiment recognizes the dignity of labor and the fact that honor lies in honest toil." As military members, civilians, and contractors, we can count ourselves as part of this great tradition of hard work and sacrifice. Our labor plays an important role in the National Capital Region, and we should all be proud of our purpose and the people with which we serve.

Our pride in our work and the care we show for our fellow laborers should not be limited to duty hours only. Because many of us will take advantage of this long weekend to squeeze one more getaway or outdoor activity into a dwindling summer, I urge each of you to talk to your subordinates, coworkers and Family members about their plans. Encouraging responsible behavior and risk management, both on the job and off, is key to ensuring we all return safely from our well-deserved time off.

Proper planning and risk management go hand in hand, and leaders must emphasize the need to plan appropriately and mitigate risk prior to the holiday weekend. Tools to assist you with briefing subordinates and planning activities associated with warm weather activities are available at: and

I wish each of you a safe and enjoyable Labor Day holiday.

MG, U.S. Army