The heat is on: Army heat illness/summer safety campaign underway

By Julie Shelley, and Communication and Public Affairs, U.S. Army Combat Readiness CenterApril 12, 2021

(Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

USACRC Release Heat Illness Summer Campaign Underway.pdf [PDF - 143.6 KB]

FORT RUCKER, Ala. − Spring break, summer vacation, longer training days and permanent change of station moves — there’s a lot going on for Soldiers and their families between April and September.

Unfortunately, spring and summer (essentially the third and fourth quarters) are the deadliest time of year for Army mishaps, both on and off duty. The U.S. Army Combat Readiness Center released a seasonal communications campaign this week to heighten awareness of the hazards and help leaders and Soldiers mitigate their risk, whatever their mission or personal plans.

“This campaign is a valuable addition to risk management toolkits for leaders, safety professionals and individual Soldiers,” said Brig. Gen. Andrew C. Hilmes, USACRC commanding general and director of Army Safety. “Between additional training time on duty and more leisure travel off duty, the Army’s risk profile naturally rises with the temperature between winter, the start of spring and throughout summer.”

During the past two fiscal years, 91 Soldiers died in off-duty third- or fourth-quarter mishaps. An additional 21 Soldiers were killed in mishaps on duty.

“The vast majority of our fatal mishaps occur in vehicles, and that holds true on and off duty,” said USACRC Command Sgt. Maj. William L. Gardner II. “So that obviously requires a lot of focus, but we can’t forget about other hazards like heat illness for Soldiers working or training outside and drownings off duty, which have increased the past few fiscal years.”

This year’s heat illness/summer safety campaign addresses these and other topics and is designed to complement the updated Off Duty Safety Awareness Presentation and first-ever third-quarter spike tactical vehicle safety campaign, both of which launched Army-wide in recent weeks.

“We really just want to hit all the areas where we typically lose Soldiers to mishaps, especially as pandemic-related restrictions ease across the country and we return to a more normal operating posture,” Hilmes said. “These campaigns are our effort to make everyone aware of the hazards and enable informed decision-making regardless of activity. Getting back on track both professionally and personally from last year, our Soldiers and families will be busier than they’ve been in a long time.”

The heat illness/summer safety campaign is available at Additional materials, including content on the 101 Critical Days of Summer, will be added periodically to the campaign site through early September. The third-quarter spike tactical vehicle safety campaign, ODSAP, and other risk management tools are available at