During the month of November we celebrate two U.S. holiday weekends -Veteran's Day and Thanksgiving. On Veteran's Day, we honor those men and women who selflessly served, and continue to serve our country, around the world and defend our freedom. On Thanksgiving, we remember and celebrate our Nation's countless blessings.
These holiday weekends provide a time to relax and recharge. It should not be a time to throw caution to the wind. Soldiers must consider risks associated with their weekend plans. First-line supervisors will personally engage with their Soldiers to discuss off-duty activities and mitigation plans. I expect these discussions to include personal responsibilities, alcohol use, indiscipline, the "Buddy System", and adherence to Blue Book policies.
Chain-of-command intervention makes all the difference. Leaders must prepare their personnel for the hazards of off-duty activities and reinforce standards of conduct. Excessive alcohol consumption, vehicle-related accidents, sports activities, domestic violence, and suicidal behavior continue to be areas of concern. Engaged leadership, self-discipline, and risk management support the safety process and can ensure that the joy of these holiday periods are not marred by accidents or misconduct.
As we transition into the fall and winter season, we must focus on conducting operations in a cold weather environment and continue our efforts towards accident prevention. Thank you for your hard work and tireless support of our mission here in the Republic of Korea.
MICHAEL A. BILLS
Lieutenant General, USA
Command Sergeant Major