FORT JACKSON, SC -- So far this year, the Army has lost 20 Soldiers to motorcycle accidents. Excessive speed, reckless operation and operator inexperience have been identified as common causal factors. Alcohol use, as a contributing factor, is not uncommon, and failure to wear a helmet often leads to increased severity of an injury.

The Fort Jackson Motorcycle Safety Program is designed to include the full spectrum of motorcycle safety, including training (initial, progressive and refresher), leadership, mentorship and responsibilities. Detailed guidance can be found in Fort Jackson Regulation 385-10.

While I expect our motorcycle riders to have the integrity to do the right thing and the self-discipline to ride safely, I also expect leaders at all levels to ensure that we have provided our Soldiers with the tools and training to help keep them out of harmAca,!a,,cs way.

Although all Soldiers and civilian employees are required to attend traffic safety training at the Fort Jackson Safety Center within 30 days of their arrival at the installation, motorcycle safety is also a required element in unit level reception and integration counseling for all new Fort Jackson personnel.

At a minimum, all Soldiers will complete FJSO Form 6; Motorcycle Operators Checklist, and all Soldiers who own a motorcycle will complete a motorcycle agreement. These documents are available from your unitAca,!a,,cs additional duty safety officer.

All Soldiers must complete the Basic Riders Course before they can ride a motorcycle (civilian employees must complete the training before they can ride on the installation). The training is free and Soldiers and civilian employees will not be charged pass or leave to attend. Training motorcycles are provided and personnel are encouraged to attend the training before they purchase a motorcycle. The training will help them determine what size/type motorcycle is right for them. Register for the course at

All arriving Soldiers who own motorcycles are required to complete refresher training within 30 days of their arrival. These Soldiers will attend either the Experienced Riders Course or the Military Sport Bike Course depending on the type of motorcycle they own. These courses are also available for our current Soldiers and civilian employees who desire additional training. Again, you may register for the course at

Each military organization is required to support an active Motorcycle Mentorship Program. As a minimum, each new rider will paired with an experienced rider as a mentor. Motorcycle riders should also consider membership in a club that supports safe riding. Additional information on the Motorcycle Mentorship Program can be found in FJ Regulation 385-10 and at the Combat Readiness Center website at

It is important to remember that while the motorcycle rules and procedures only apply to civilians when they are on the installation, Soldiers are bound to comply with those policies at all times, including when they are off duty and off post.

It is fair to assume that we will continue to see an increase in Soldiers who ride motorcycles for the foreseeable future. Leader engagement at all levels and the personal discipline of motorcycle operators are critical elements in the effort to mitigate the hazards to our Soldiers who ride. We place the highest value on the life and well-being of all members of the Fort Jackson family, and we just cannot afford to lose a single person to a needless tragedy that we had the means to prevent.

I look forward to seeing you at the Victory Thunder motorcycle rally, scheduled for July 30 at the Solomon Center.

Mission First Aca,!" Safety Always. Army Strong and Victory Starts Here!