By Maj. Gen. James M. MilanoMay 19, 2011
FORT JACKSON,S.C. -- Every spring, we see it: As the temperatures go up, the number of motorcycles on the road increases. Unfortunately, we also see through trend analysis that excessive speed, reckless operation and operator inexperience kill our Soldiers. Further, the consumption of alcohol as a contributing factor is not uncommon, and failure to wear a helmet often leads to increased severity of injury. Our Fort Jackson Motorcycle Safety Program is designed to include the full spectrum of motorcycle safety from training (initial, progressive and refresher) to leadership, mentorship and responsibilities. Detailed guidance can be found in Fort Jackson Regulation 385-10.
While I expect our motorcycle riders to be disciplined and 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 harm's way.
Leaders enforce standards and discipline when it comes to motorcycle safety. 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 on Fort Jackson, 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 the motorcycle operator checklist, and all Soldiers who own a motorcycle will complete a motorcycle agreement. These documents are available from the unit's additional duty safety officer. All Soldiers must complete the Basic Riders Course before they can ride a motorcycle. The training is free, and Soldiers will not be charged pass or leave to attend. Training motorcycles are provided and personnel are encouraged to attend the training before purchasing a motorcycle. The training will help determine what size/type motorcycle is right for each person. Register for the course at https://airs.lmi.org/.
All Soldiers who are just arriving on post and 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 which type of motorcycle they own.
These courses are also available for our current Soldiers who desire additional training. Again, you may register for the course at https://airs.lmi.org/.
Each military organization is required to support an active Motorcycle Mentorship Program. As a minimum, each new rider will be 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 https://safety.army.mil/mmp/. 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 combined with the personal discipline of motorcycle operators are critical elements in the effort to mitigate the hazards to our Soldiers who ride. The lives and well-being of all members of the Fort Jackson family are of extreme importance to me. We cannot afford to lose anyone to a needless tragedy that we had the means to prevent. I look forward to seeing you at the Victory Thunder motorcycle rally Tuesday.
Army Strong and Victory Starts Here!