On September 3, our Nation celebrates Labor Day, honoring America's work force and their contributions to building this great country. With summer coming to an end, and school starting up, many of our Soldiers, Civilians, and their Families will get together for one last weekend of summer fun.

The MDW team has worked hard these past months planning for the upcoming inauguration, an extended Twilight Tattoo season, and the many missions our command accomplishes in support of our great Army and the Nation's Capital. I want you to enjoy this well earned holiday!

Many of us will travel over this weekend. I want you to have a plan - look at your route and afford enough time for safe driving. Ensure your vehicle is mechanically sound and ready for the road. Ensure you share your travel plans with a friend or supervisor. A few simple precautions greatly improve your safety on the road: no texting while driving, no drinking and driving, and stay rested. For our motorcycle riders - personal protective gear is not only smart, it's required! If heading to the beach or lake, know your capabilities. Be watchful of other boaters, rip tide currents, and always have a buddy.

Every individual is important to the Military District of Washington/Joint Forces Headquarters - National Capital Region team - our Soldiers, Civilians, and Family members. Reach out to each other and ensure the well-being of our force. If you or someone you know needs help, reach out to the many resources available.

Before we head out, I would like commanders and supervisors to talk with their Soldiers and civilians about their plans; conduct "oak tree counseling" in an atmosphere that facilitates awareness on safety. Identify those plans that put our Soldiers at risk and place measures in place to mitigate those risks. CSM Turnbull and I are proud to serve with you in this great organization! Enjoy this well deserved holiday; be safe, and we'll return to work ready for the next mission.

Army Strong! Guardians!

Signed - Michael S. Linnington, Maj. Gen., U.S. Army, Joint Force Headquarters - National Capital Region and the U.S. Army Military District of Washington, Commanding