JOINT BASE MYER-HENDERSON HALL, Va. – Soldiers assigned to the 3d U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) took the day to focus on safety June 10 during the Safety Standdown on Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall.
The event, scheduled to coincide with National Safety Month in June and timed to take place during the 101 Critical Days of Summer campaign, educated Soldiers on the dangers of drinking and driving, vehicle and motorcycle maintenance, fire safety, electrical safety, water safety/life preservers, hydration/weather casualty prevention, and other safety campaign topics.
Expert advice such as “drink water and listen to your body,” and “just one drink can impact your judgement” were offered by base officials and community partners who provided demonstrations and information booths at the events.
George Suber, Army Substance Abuse Program prevention coordinator, said the event is timed to take place as the JBM-HH community is entering into the “fun time of the year” when nice weather often lends itself to outdoor activities, barbeques, fireworks, social events and vacations.
“Have fun, but just be careful and be responsible when you have alcohol as a part of your fun,” he said.
Private First Class Sean Hamilton, infantryman, 4th Battalion, TOG, said he wasn’t surprised to receive information about drunk driving, but learning about water safety and heat casualties was an added bonus.
“I believe we should at least do (the Safety Standdown) annually, just to check up on our knowledge, to stay safe,” he said.
The event’s focus on off-duty activities also included car safety and basic vehicle maintenance. Staff Sgt. Erica Chung, instrumentalist with the Fife and Drum Corps, 4th Battalion, TOG, said she learned how doing her own maintenance can help her in the long run.
“Simple things like how to change wiper fluid … I could take my car in and let the dealership take care of it, but if you know those simple things, it saves you a lot of money,” she said. “Even just doing a simple look around your car, you can catch a lot of stuff. It helps you and prevents you from spending a lot of money in the future.”
Ultimately, Chung said, maintaining awareness of the state of the vehicle and keeping up with basic repairs could prevent a tragedy.
“On a rainy day, that could save lives, or even (prevent) a fatal accident or injury,” she said.
Kerry Kolhof, regimental safety manager, TOG, said the annual standdown event is intended to encourage service members to think critically about summer safety.
“When you’re on duty, you have a squad leader or buddy looking out for your back, but when you’re off duty, you have to be that squad leader or ranger buddy looking out for your family (and) looking out for yourself,” he said. “We do risk assessments in the military before every mission. When you’re off duty, you have to do the risk assessment.”
For more summer safety tips, visit the U.S. Army Combat Readiness Center or contact the JBM-HH Safety Office: 703-806-3447.
More JBM-HH News is online.