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

FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. — On the fourth Thursday in November, Americans may remember those who came to this land searching for freedom; the community relationships they built with those living here when they arrived; the service and sacrifice of all who have fought to establish and maintain the United States as a free country; and the gratitude for the things and the people enriching our lives every day. In whatever way our teammates celebrate Thanksgiving, we hope each person can relax or spend time with loved ones safely.

Every leader — military and civilian — should talk with those in their care about avoiding high-risk behaviors and avoiding preventable accidents, while keeping with our Profession, Ethic and Values as guideposts for actions. We must all be good teammates and stay connected with those in our formations and to our left and right.

Thanksgiving is one of the busiest times of year for air and vehicle travel. When driving, first assess risk and perform required safety checks. Do not break the speed limit and lower speed when necessary 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. 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 concept of battle buddies and cohesive teams are keys to caring and to readiness. 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 and available resources. Never leave a teammate behind.

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

Victory Starts Here — Victory Through Skill!