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FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. — Labor Day weekend marks the unofficial end of summer and allows us a short rest after a season of steady training, mission activities and children returning to school. We must assess and manage risk and emphasize safety going into the holiday, as, historically, accidents and mishaps increase over Labor Day weekend.

We expect leaders to talk to every person in their care about their plans and to discuss safe practices involving motor vehicles, recreational vehicles, travel and outdoor activities. Look out for one another; know your teammates; and remain connected and available.

Wear a seat belt while driving and ensure all in your care do the same. If you are operating a motorcycle, recreational vehicle or watercraft, ensure you are using appropriate personal protective equipment; you are properly trained and licensed; and you follow all laws and regulations. Never drive drowsy, distracted or impaired. Alcohol impairs reaction time and increases risk. Have a plan while in the water, never swim alone and swim within your limits.

We appreciate and ask for your leadership in assessing risk and adjusting training according to weather conditions in the coming weeks. During high heat and humidity, be cognizant of the levels, frequency and duration of outdoor activity; remain hydrated; and have a plan to cool off afterward. Be prepared for flash flooding and never cross roadways with running water.

If you own a firearm, follow the fundamentals of firearms safety and store weapons in a safe, locked case, or with a trigger lock. Never handle a weapon while intoxicated. Archery hunting season starts soon with firearm to follow in the fall; if you hunt, follow all laws and regulations and only hunt in authorized areas. Register firearms with DES prior to bringing on-post.

We are very proud to serve with you and we ask commanders and supervisors to allow your civilian employees to take the last 59 minutes on Friday, Sept. 1, as paid time off.

Victory Starts Here – Victory Through Skill!