By John M. McHugh, Secretary of the Army; Raymond T. Odierno, Chief of Staff; Raymond F. Chandler lll, Sergeant Major of the ArmyMay 21, 2012
During the past several years, our Army has reduced preventable accidents to near peacetime levels. This amazing success has been achieved despite the high operations tempo of our continuing missions overseas, proving once again the diligence and dedication of American Soldiers. We commend you for your hard work in making safety a top priority, both on and off duty.
While risk management deserves our attention and focus 24/7, our Army is placing special emphasis on safety this summer by observing National Safety Month in June. This commemoration provides a wonderful opportunity for you to evaluate your safety programs and make adjustments as needed for the months ahead. One of four topic areas will be highlighted each week during the month -- Civilian safety, ground safety, aviation safety and driving safety. The U.S. Army Combat Readiness/Safety Center will release programs and tools targeted to each of these areas through the end of June, so visit their website at https://safety.army.mil often for products and tools that will help you keep your Soldiers and Civilian employees safe.
Looking past June, the fourth quarter (July-September) is historically the deadliest time of the fiscal year for our Soldiers off duty. Privately owned vehicle and privately owned motorcycle accidents dominate fatality reports, but drowning and other water-related deaths have been on the rise during recent years. Indiscipline is cited as a root cause in most of these losses, which only compounds the tragedy. Discipline and standards are the essence of what it means to wear our uniform, and preventable deaths due to reckless behavior hit our units, our Families and our surviving Soldiers extremely hard. Engagement between Leaders and subordinates and Soldiers and their peers is the key to addressing indiscipline and saving lives.
Thank you for your support of National Safety Month and all you do to keep our Army safe. Risk is a deadly problem, but the smart decisions we make every day will have a lasting impact on each other and our Army now and into the future.
Army Safe is Army Strong!