By Spc. Derrick K. Ramey, 3rd HBCT Public Affairs September 15, 2011
FT. BENNING, Ga. - Soldiers of the 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, Third Infantry Division, are taking a stand against drunk driving.
Colonel Johnnie L. Johnson Jr., Command Sgt. Maj. Mark A. Aaron along with the battalion commanders and command sergeants major led the signing of the Marne Pride Anti-Drinking and Driving Pledge, Sept. 9 at the Kelley Hill Recreation Center.
The pledge is a promise by the Soldier to drive safely, not drive impaired, to not ride with an unsafe driver, and to contact their chain of command if they need help getting home. The second part of the pledge is a promise by the commanders and leaders to be there for their Soldiers and to be a good role model through leading by example.
Before the signing, Command Sgt. Maj. Aaron explained the importance of the event.
"What we have done with this Sledgehammer Pride, it's a new beginning. It's a fresh start. A start of commitment. Commitment to you, your Family, and to our team because we need all of you to be a part of this team," Command Sgt. Maj. Aaron said.
Senior leaders sat in front of their Soldiers with contracts in hand to make a commitment to their respective troops.
"Today our senior leadership has come together for you to witness us signing that contract before you. That's our pledge to you that we will do the right thing. And today you will sign the same contract to us saying that you will not drink and drive. It is an honor to wear this uniform, to be an American citizen, to fight for our country," Command Sgt. Maj. Aaron said.
The assembled group watched a video highlighting some possible perils of making poor decisions while drinking before signing the contract.
"Soldiers trying to get that message to all of us. What can happen if you drive while under the influence. Nothing good can come from it," Col. Johnson said.
Colonel Johnson continued, asking for help of Soldiers whom have had experience with alcohol.
"We're gonna get this right, we need your help getting this right. If you had this experience then share it. Share your experience. Tell them what you did and why it was the wrong decision, its time to turn things around. To be a better person, a better Soldier. Let it start today by signing these oaths," he said.
The assembled Soldiers signed and presented their own contracts to their respective leaders seated at the head table.
"The contract we're signing is a great start," Col. Johnson said. "But ultimately, our actions will determine our success."