By By Jim Cunningham IMCOM-KOREAMarch 25, 2009
RED CLOUD GARRISON - Area I leadership decided all Area I clubs and bowling establishments on post and stores selling alcohol begin a 100 percent identification check to determine if the customers buying alcoholic beverages are of legal age.
1st Sgt. Briane Allen of Alpha Company, Division Special Troops Battalion, thinks the decision to conduct 100 percent ID checks is an outstanding idea.
"We have Soldiers coming over here who are underage and drinking," Allen said. "It is funny because you would not think they would do it under our noses, but they do. They will put their drinks in a paper cup and sit in a corner and you would never know what they are drinking."
Allen's observation is not the only one because Chris Bradford, USAG-RC Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation business manager, says there is a law and a regulation prohibiting Soldiers and Family members under 21 years of age from drinking alcoholic beverages.
Leaders and command informed FMWR and Army and Air Force Exchange Service underage Soldiers had been drinking not only in clubs on post, but in bars and clubs off post, Bradford said.
"Anytime a FMWR or AAFES establishment serves alcohol they will check to make sure their customers are of legal drinking age," Bradford said. "If someone looks more than 21 years of age, bartenders may not check their ID."
Bradford says FMWR has decided in order to be a sound steward of all clubs in Area I, it will check all IDs of persons ordering alcoholic beverages.
"We have more of a community club or restaurant," Bradford said. "We will not be checking everyone as they enter through the doors, but we will certainly check their IDs when they order alcoholic beverages."
Bradford knows there is a fine line between doing the right things in keeping customers honest vs. harassment.
"It is a requirement we not serve alcohol to anyone under 21 years of age," Bradford said. "We will work with leadership and ask everyone to produce evidence they are 21 or older. For those of legal age, we will give them a wrist band so wait staff will not have to continue to check their IDs when ordering alcohol."
Taking action such as 100 percent ID checks for those ordering alcoholic beverages in clubs and restaurants on post will protect the club staff and prevent underage persons from breaking laws and regulations, Bradford said.
"We will work with leadership to keep this action from seeming as though big brother is watching," Bradford said. "We want everyone to come back to the clubs, so it is a fine line between making everyone comfortable and protecting them as well as protecting the command and leadership."