On November 11th, Americans pause to honor the service of our Nation’s veterans. Defense of this great Nation and our freedoms is a calling that requires perseverance and sacrifice like no other, and it is only fitting we take this day to honor our men and women in uniform, both past and present. We recognize and are truly thankful for your sense of duty and your love for this country.
As we begin the long weekend, it will be especially important for first-line leaders to engage their Soldiers on off-duty risk management. Simply asking, “What are your plans?” gives leaders a prime opportunity to connect with their Soldiers about what their individual risk factors might be. With more than half of all fatal, off-duty private motor vehicle mishaps occurring between Friday afternoon and Monday morning, and with nearly half involving speed, fatigue, alcohol, or failure to wear seat belts, it is imperative that we incorporate informal counseling sessions in our overall safety programs. Unwinding during holidays and off-duty time is essential to the well-being of both Soldiers and Civilians, but temptations like drinking and driving, speeding, and deliberately neglecting to wear seat belts prove deadly far too often. These conversations may be outside our comfort zone and not easy to have, but they are well worth the effort. We can save lives and prevent senseless loss by showing our Soldiers we care about and appreciate them, 24/7.
As always, visit https://safety.army.mil for tools to help you and your Soldiers manage risk, both on and off duty. The 2023 Off Duty Safety Awareness Presentation addresses persistent hazards Soldiers face in their personal time. You may find it and many other risk management tools on our website.
Thank you for what you do every day for our Army. We wish you all a safe and happy Veterans Day.
BE ALL YOU CAN BE - Readiness Through Safety!
Jonathan C. Byrom
Brigadier General, USA
Jean Pierre Alcedo
Command Sergeant Major
Signed Veterans Day Message 2023.pdf [PDF - 280.8 KB]