FORT HOOD - The most precious resources in the Army are the men and women that raise their right hand and take an oath to defend the nation and its citizens. Keeping these Soldiers safe is always priority number one, and United States Army Forces Command recognizes those units that excel in the Army's number one mission.
Soldiers and command teams from 1st Medical Brigade, 13th Expeditionary Sustainment Command, were recognized during the Fort Hood FORSCOM Safety Awards ceremony April 10.
The ceremony was hosted by III Corps and the awards were presented by FORSCOM Commander, Gen. Michael X. Garrett.
1st Medical Bde. units; 115th Command Support Hospital, 61st Multifunctional Medical Battalion, 528th Hospital Command and 21st Combat Support Hospital, all under 1st Medical Bde., received four individual Soldier awards and two unit awards.
1st Medical Bde. and 528th Hospital Command won the Army Exeptional Organization Safety Award and the Army Individual Award for Excellence in Safety winners were; Sgt. 1st Class Jason Eccles, 61st Multifunctional Medical Battalion, Maj. Denise Simon, 115th CSH, Spc. Kaylee Stone, 21st CSH and Chief Warrant Officer 2 Gabriel Jefferson, 21st CSH.
The safety manager for 1st Medical Bde., Kenneth Dickerson was excited his brigade won almost every category.
"It makes me feel very proud," Dickerson said. "Our command is very safety oriented and safety driven. We don't do anything in this brigade without safety being in the forefront of our thought process."
With units at Fort Bliss, Texas; Fort Polk, Louisiana; and Fort Carson, Colorado, Dickerson has the support of his command to visit any units outside of Texas to ensure the Soldiers are being safe.
"Our brigade commander is a firm believer in ensuring all the units are looked at on a regular basis," Dickerson said.
As a petroleum fuel specialist and Scottsville, Virginia native, Stone has been in the Army for two and a half years, she knew she wanted to make a difference once she arrived here, and volunteering for the safety program gave her that opportunity.
"When I first got here the motorpool needed a lot of work," explained Stone. "I realized that and I did all that I could to fix it. I learned everything I could so I could turn the motorpool around, and I did."
Even though Stone is about to have a permanent change of station, her experience with safety here is something she hopes continue at her next duty station.
"Hopefully they will have the same system there, they realize I am good at it and it's something I can be involved in there too," Stone said.
As the senior enlisted leader at 1st Medical Bde., Command Sgt. Maj. Jennifer Redding felt a sense of pride for herself and 1st Medical Bde. Commander, Col. Robert F. Howe, having 1st Medical Bde. do so well in the competition.
"We want to ensure Soldiers are getting the message of safety," Redding said. "We can't conduct our mission if we aren't doing it in a safe manner. I'm very proud of our Silver Knights and very honored to be their command sergeant major."
After presenting the awards, Garrett shared some parting words for the awardees.
"I applaud the Soldiers and the leaders that provide examples for them," Garrett said. "The old adage that everybody is a safety officer, and guess what, they are. We are all responsible for it. Things don't happen if we're all paying attention and if we all intervene and stop stuff that's not right."