FORT RUCKER, Ala. (April 5, 2012) -- In a continued effort to make Soldiers and their Family Members aware of hazards they may face while participating in off-duty activities, the U.S. Army Combat Readiness/Safety Center recently launched its annual Off-Duty Safety Awareness Presentation.

Historically, the Army experiences a steady increase in accidental fatalities between April and May through the end of the fiscal year, with a majority of these accidents occurring off duty.

"During the last five fiscal years, we've lost an average of 137 Soldiers in off-duty accidents annually," said Tracey Russell, safety and occupational health manager, USACR/Safety Center. "So far this fiscal year, we've seen a decrease in off-duty accidents in comparison with the same timeframe last fiscal year. To continue this trend, it's critical that Soldiers apply the principles of composite risk management to their off-duty activities."

The goal of the presentation is to arm commanders and leaders with the knowledge to educate, empower and challenge Soldiers, and most importantly, raise awareness as the Army enters this critical juncture and deadliest period of the fiscal year. Approximately 50 minutes long, the presentation comes complete with speaker notes and embedded videos depicting actual accidents involving Soldiers. Briefers have the ability to tailor the notes to reflect particular trends in their unit.

"This presentation is one of many tools we have available to everyone in our Army Family to help prevent the next accident," said Brig. Gen. William T. Wolf, commander, USACR/Safety Center and director of Army Safety. "This presentation provides great conversation starters for young leaders by sharing real-world stories that Soldiers can relate to and talk about with not only their leadership, but their Family and friends as well.

"Awareness is a key component in reducing accidental losses," Wolf added. "If Soldiers are aware of the off-duty hazards they face in the upcoming months, they can become part of the solution in preventing the next accident and needless loss of life."

The 2012 presentation, titled "If You Accept the Risks … Can You Afford the Costs?" is available on the USACR/Safety Center website at (AKO login is required).