By Spc. Chastity Boykin, 3rd Bde., 4th Inf. Div. Public AffairsJune 4, 2010
CONTINGENCY OPERATING BASE ADDER, Iraq - The 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division has implemented a new safety campaign for "Iron Brigade" Soldiers throughout southern Iraq.
Discipline, supervision and high standards are key points in the campaign, which is intended to implement safety measures within all activities conducted by Soldiers and leaders.
The campaign has four main elements, each serving as a firm standard in the "Iron Brigade."
The first element requires leaders to follow strict planning standards outlined in the Iron Horse Big 8. The Iron Horse Big 8 is a set of mission guidelines, which include operations orders, terrain, battle drills, equipment inspections, security, reconnaissance, risk evaluation, and time management.
"The Big 8 is followed in order to ensure every Soldier is prepared to complete the safest operation," said Sgt. Eric Rutledge, a training room noncommissioned officer and Mountain View, Ark., native serving with Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 3rd BCT, 4th Inf. Div.
The second element requires leaders to apply and enforce safety standards for all events. The intent is for Soldiers to be successful in preventing accidents and casualties while still accomplishing the mission. When leaders get directly involved and incorporate safety into everyday events, Soldiers will be better prepared for unexpected situations.
"It's the responsibility of NCOs to ensure that their Soldiers perform their mission safely and correctly," said Carlos Ortiz, the brigade safety specialist.
The battle buddy system is the third element of the program. Pairs of Soldiers that work together, travel together, and watch out for each other have a higher chance of avoiding and preventing dangerous situations. If a dangerous situation occurs, battle buddies will always be there to help each other out.
"I see the buddy system as a way for Soldiers to learn from each other's experiences on today's modern battle field," said Sgt. 1st Class Jimmy Williams, the first sergeant for HHT, 3rd BCT, 4th Inf. Div.
The "Iron Safe = Iron Strong" safety posters and the "Iron Safety Star" are the fourth element of the campaign. Both, the posters and safety stars are being placed in Soldiers' work areas as a constant visual reminder to be safe at all times.
The red Iron Safety Star is a small, bright-red sticker of a star that will be placed on Soldiers' watches and identification cards, as well as throughout the base serving as a reminder to remain vigilant at all times.
The 3rd BCT, 4th Inf. Div. deployed out of Fort Carson, Colo., in April. The "Iron Brigade" is scheduled to be in southern Iraq through April 2011.