FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. — December is National Drunk and Drugged Driving Prevention Month — sometimes called “3-D month.” We often hear messages about how impaired driving can negatively affect your career, how much it can cost and even how dangerous it is. For service members, there’s another important reason to avoid driving under the influence: it’s contrary to the values we live by.
Integrity demands that we keep our promises. Every enlisted member of the armed forces takes an oath that includes obeying “the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to the regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice.” That encompasses a lot of things, but one thing it demands is following the guidance of the military to refrain from drinking — or using drugs — and driving.
People join the military for many reasons, but the most common reason is to serve their country. Selfless service means putting the needs and safety of others ahead of one’s own. It’s hard to think of a greater failure of that value than driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The impaired driver puts themselves ahead of every other person on the road. For their own fun, convenience or just poor prior planning, they ignore the safety of others. They put the lives of others at risk for their own selfish reasons.
Substance abuse includes any use of drugs or alcohol that negatively affects an individual’s life or creates grave danger. The Army regulation that deals with substance abuse — Army Regulation 600-85 — explains that substance abuse, such as impaired driving, “runs counter to Army Values and erodes personal readiness.”
In recognition of 3-D month, Army Substance Abuse Program experts will host an information and awareness table with activities from 8 to 10 a.m. Wednesday and 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Dec. 16, in the lobby of Thurman Hall.
As a military community, let’s commit all year — not just in December — to living up to the values we all share by not driving under the influence.