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

FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. — On November 25, we will reflect upon the things, and, more importantly, the people whom we are grateful for. The service of our military, civilians, retirees and family members allows every citizen of our great nation to enjoy our freedoms.

For many, Thanksgiving is the beginning of an extended holiday season. We hope each of our teammates can enjoy time with loved ones and do so safely.

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 keeping with our profession, ethic and values. Maintaining cohesive teams and caring for our people will help us manage risk and maintain readiness.

Thanksgiving is a very popular time for travel, both by vehicle and by air. For personal vehicles, assess risk and perform required safety checks. Do not break the speed limit and adjust speed lower based on road, weather and environmental conditions. Always buckle up and ensure all within your care do the same. Do not drive distracted, tired or under the influence. Maintain supplies in the event of unexpected weather or driving situations. For air travel, plan for the unexpected, including delays and cancellations. During days of moderate temperatures, if you choose to enjoy the outdoors while operating motorcycles or recreational vehicles, ensure all legal and regulatory training, equipment and operating procedures are followed.

The battle buddy system is not designed only for teammates in training. Each of us is someone’s battle buddy. Being there for one another is paramount — before, during and after the holiday weekend. Know your teammates. Know their plans for the weekend, along with any struggles or challenges they or their families are facing. Care for them and provide a listening ear or outside resources if needed. Never leave a teammate behind.

We are thankful for and very proud to serve with you.

Victory Starts Here — Victory Through Skill!