Labor Day is an annual tribute to the contributions American workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our Nation and also marks the traditional end of the summer season with a well-deserved holiday weekend. CSM Ecker and I salute the MEDCOM workforce for your service to our Nation. Your dedicated service strengthens the AMEDD and enables Army readiness.

As we enter the remaining months of this year, unsafe motorcycle and privately-owned vehicle operation continues to be the leading cause of accidental fatalities for the Army. Your personal leadership and engagement are vital in protecting the "at risk" population. Use all available resources to increase safety awareness and educate our Soldiers and Civilians on the application of risk management in all their off-duty activities.

Leaders, use the tools available in the Army's READY.... or Not? for Summer Safety campaign to enhance your safety programs. Access the tool-box at the Combat Readiness/ Safety Center website by clicking-on the READY.... or Not? logo at All Soldiers are reminded to have their vehicles inspected and use the Travel Risk Planning System {TRiPS), if you plan to take leave, pass, or TDY. Additionally, I want all Leaders to emphasize sexual assault risks, prevention, and response in their holiday safety briefings; guidance is available at My goal is to provide a safe and healthful environment for all Soldiers, Civilians, Family Members, visitors, and contractors across our Command.

I encourage Soldiers, Civilians and Family Members to fully enjoy this historic holiday. I challenge each of you to place safety at the top of your holiday plans and make the "right" decision in whatever you do. Have a safe and happy Labor Day weekend. Army Safe is Army Strong.

Serving to Heal...Honored to Serve!