FORT RUCKER, Ala. (August 27, 2018) - The United States is one of the most productive and industrious nations on earth, powered by a workforce that relies on our Army to protect American free enterprise and our way of life. This long weekend, we will break to honor their contributions and enjoy some relaxation ourselves. Thank you for what you do every day for our Nation.

Like every holiday, off-duty hazards will present the greatest risk to most of our Soldiers. However, I'm asking our leaders to refine their approach to the four-day weekend safety brief. Most of us know by now that platitudes like "don't drink and drive," counseling checklists and mandatory "training" prior to leave or pass are often ineffective. This year, talk personally with your Soldiers instead. Find out what's going on in their lives and where their potential risk factors lie. These conversations might not come naturally, but they show you care and establish a framework for effective risk mitigation counseling both on and off duty. Just a few minutes of time now can pay great dividends for safety in the future.

Please let me know how the U.S. Army Combat Readiness Center can help you better engage your Soldiers on risk management. Thank you again for all you do, and I wish you and yours a happy, safe holiday.

Readiness Through Safety!