By Art Powell, Strategic Communication Directorate, U.S. Army Combat Readiness/Safety Center, Fort Rucker, Ala.May 24, 2012
FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- June is National Safety Month, and senior Army Leaders are asking Soldiers at all levels to use this opportunity to reaffirm their commitment to safety.
Fatal Army accidents have fallen steadily during the past four fiscal years and are now on par with peacetime levels.
"This remarkable success has been achieved despite the high operations tempo of our continuing missions overseas, proving once again the diligence and dedication of our Soldiers," said Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, Army chief of staff. "I commend each and every one of you for your hard work in making safety a top priority, both on and off duty."
Leaders, Soldiers, Family members and Army Civilians are encouraged to use National Safety Month, an annual observance sponsored by the nonprofit National Safety Council, to evaluate safety at both the unit and personal level. Leaders should take a hard look at their safety programs and make adjustments as necessary, while Soldiers and Civilians may provide their commanders with recommendations on better incorporating safety into their everyday tasks. Off duty, Soldiers and Family members should think about what they can do to stay safe, whether it's slowing down on the road, always wearing seat belts or ensuring guests at their homes have a designated driver if needed.
National Safety Month coincides with the beginning of summer, historically the deadliest time of year for Soldiers off duty. According to Brig. Gen. William T. Wolf, director of Army Safety and commanding general, U.S. Army Combat Readiness/Safety Center, indiscipline is a leading cause of Soldier fatalities, particularly on America's highways.
"Privately owned vehicle and motorcycle accidents are the number one accidental killer of our Soldiers," said Wolf. "The fact that indiscipline is entirely and easily preventable only compounds the tragedy of these losses."
To help leaders and Soldiers address indiscipline and other issues during National Safety Month, on June 1 the USACR/Safety Center will launch a dedicated website, https://safety.army.mil/NSM2012, containing posters, informational videos and feature articles addressing four core topics: Civilian injury prevention, ground operations, aviation operations and driving safety. This effort will complement the current Army Safe Spring/Summer campaign, which includes materials targeted to specific seasonal hazards.
While much effort will be put into awareness during June, Wolf urged all members of the Army Family to remember safety is a day-to-day commitment and responsibility.
"Leaders have an imperative to use National Safety Month to energize their accident prevention efforts for the rest of the year," he said. "This is a perfect occasion for them to engage with their Soldiers on safety, and also for Soldiers to engage with each other on the things putting them at risk."
For more information on National Safety Month and Army Safety, visit https://safety.army.mil.