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FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. — Our diverse mission set requires a diverse team, and our people are among the best in the nation. We cannot thank you enough for your hard work, resilience and commitment this year. We could not achieve mission success without the dedication and contributions of every service member and civilian.

As you spend time with your loved ones this holiday season, keep the safety of yourself and our teammates at the forefront of your minds. Every leader — military and civilian — should engage with their teams to talk about risk management, safety and preventing avoidable accidents. Leaders must understand plans, stressors, relationships and living situations of those in their organizations, along with associated risk.

Excessive alcohol use may worsen mental and physical wellness, and alcohol adds risk to any activity. Leaders should talk to their teams about resilience, positive coping mechanisms and resources available to deal with stressors. Please take care of yourselves and care for your people.

Although early December weather has been mild, conditions can change quickly. Remember to check forecasts frequently and pack additional emergency supplies in your vehicles. Follow speed limits, and, when necessary, adjust speed for environmental conditions. Always utilize seat belts and ensure all in your care do the same. Do not drive under the influence, drowsy, while texting or while distracted in any way. Follow all guidelines, regulations and laws regarding training, protective equipment and operation of motor and recreational vehicles.

The holiday season is a time for celebration. While enjoying time with loved ones, don’t forget about your teammates. Check in with peers, those in your care or anyone you sense may need a connection. Leadership at all levels is a continuous responsibility and requires regular interaction.

We are proud to serve with each of you, and we wish you and your families a safe and happy holiday season.

Victory Starts Here — Victory Through Skill!