By Julie Shelley, Strategic Communication Directorate, Fort Rucker, Ala.August 22, 2012
FORT RUCKER, ALA. -- The Army is changing the way leaders, Soldiers and safety professionals receive seasonal safety information, and also are asking that everyone keep their eyes open for the signs they or their buddy might be at risk of an accident.
The Army Safe Autumn Campaign, launching Sept. 4, will be the first of four seasonal installments in this redesign, and additionally serves as the kickoff for the overarching "Know the Signs" safety awareness effort.
"No Soldier comes into the Army without certain expectations," said Brig. Gen. Timothy J. Edens, director of Army Safety and commanding general, U.S. Army Combat Readiness/Safety Center. "Likewise, the Army has its own expectations, chiefly that Soldiers will abide by their training and standards and act in a disciplined manner 24/7. Unfortunately, we're seeing some Soldiers don't believe training, discipline or standards apply off duty."
Just shy of the end of fiscal 2012, the majority of the 103 Soldier deaths occurring off duty have been attributed to indiscipline, especially regarding privately owned vehicle and motorcycle fatalities. A number of leaders at the rank of E5 and above have been involved in fatal accidents attributed to indiscipline, a fact that alarms USACR/Safety Center Command Sgt. Maj. Rick Stidley.
"Young Soldiers look up to their leaders, there's absolutely no doubt about that," Stidley said. "Any leader who willfully disregards the standards he enforces on his Soldiers is a terrible example and shouldn't be leading in the first place."
The KTS campaign is themed around the idea that someone always knows when a Soldier is at risk for an accident -- whether it's the Soldier, his battle buddies or his leaders. Intervention can be difficult, but it's often the only way to take action before a troubled Soldier's life ends in tragedy. Each of the four seasonal campaigns will fall under the larger KTS umbrella.
Edens encouraged all members of the Army Family to visit the USACR/Safety Center home page, https://safety.army.mil, for more information on KTS and the schedule of seasonal safety campaign releases.
"Safety has to be an imperative in our formations," he said. "These campaigns are one way leaders can make that happen, but tools are just tools until someone puts them into action."
"Remember that every product we release is just a baseline -- leaders can tailor them to their own unique needs. The important thing is getting the information out there to your Soldiers."