By Michael NegardSeptember 8, 2014
The Army launched the first installment of its new two-year seasonal safety awareness campaign today.
The campaign -- entitled "Ready … or Not?" -- is a call to action for leaders, Soldiers, Army civilians and family members to assess their "readiness" for what lies ahead, the known as well as the unknown.
"Safety has a direct correlation to unit and individual readiness," said Brig. Gen. Jeffrey A. Farnsworth, director of Army Safety and commanding general, U.S. Army Combat Readiness/Safety Center. "This two-year campaign is designed to heighten awareness of risk factors by causing individuals and leaders to ask themselves one simple question, 'Are you and/or your organization ready for what is about to happen?'"
Just shy of the end of fiscal 2014, the majority of the 120 Soldier fatalities due to accidents occurred while Soldiers were in an off-duty status. Private motor vehicle accidents accounted for 61 percent of these fatalities.
"If a Soldier owns a car or a motorcycle, one would expect that he or she is not just trained and licensed to operate it, but they are truly ready for all the risks that come with driving and riding," said Command Sgt. Maj. Leeford Cain, senior noncommissioned officer at the USACR/Safety Center. "Safe driving or riding doesn't just happen. It's a byproduct of receiving the right training and education, exercising self discipline, meeting standards and assessing one's ability to execute a given task."
The campaign will be divided into four installments throughout the year, beginning with autumn and then running through winter, spring and summer. These mini campaigns serve to raise awareness of the increased hazards associated with the different seasons, but also provide safety and information on accident prevention issues that apply year-round, such as distracted driving and home safety.
"Soldier fatalities from off-duty Army accidents currently outnumber on-duty fatalities by four to one," Farnsworth said. "This campaign should also serve to remind Soldiers that standards and discipline apply 24/7, whether on duty or while spending time with friends or family."
The Ready … or Not? campaign will run through August 2016. To learn more about it and the Army Safety Program, visit https://safety.army.mil/