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

FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. — On Nov. 11, we will honor and recognize the shared sacrifice and commitment of over 19.5 million individuals who have served in the United States military.

Every leader — military and civilian — should talk with those in their formations and in their care about avoiding high-risk behaviors and avoiding preventable accidents while maintaining cohesive teams during this four-day weekend.

Natural resources and the ability to hunt are reasons why many enjoy the heart of our nation. While the first part of the archery season is coming to a close, firearm season will begin this weekend. Talk to those in your formation about hunter safety. Hunters should communicate with loved ones about their plans and locations, be prepared for inclement weather, always remain disciplined with weapons, and follow all applicable state and Fort Leonard Wood laws and regulations.

For non-hunters, be vigilant in adjusting to additional foot-traffic and parked vehicles, both near roads and in the training areas. Also, be on the lookout for increased wildlife movement on roadways, especially in morning and evenings. Missouri routinely ranks in the nation’s top 10 states for vehicular collisions with deer, which can cause significant vehicle damage and even result in injury or death.

Whether on or off post, vehicular safety and decision-making remain critical to ensuring individual and collective well-being. The Army’s five-year average loss is 36 Soldiers per year in vehicle fatalities. Do not exceed the speed limit and adjust speed lower for road, weather and environmental conditions. Always buckle up and ensure all within your care do the same - over two-thirds of Missouri’s fatalities this year were not buckled. Do not drive distracted or under the influence. Maintain supplies in the event of unexpected weather or driving situations.

Continue to know those in your care and to your left and right. Ensure people are included and part of our team. Understand teammates’ lives, families, challenges and living situations. Help them achieve goals, care for them and provide available resources. Given the change in seasons and approaching holidays, staying connected with our colleagues and all those in our care remains incredibly important. Never leave a teammate behind.

All of you are valuable members of the Fort Leonard Wood Team. We are very proud to serve with you.

Victory Starts Here — Victory Through Skill!