FORT RUCKER, Ala. (Army News Service, May 15, 2008) - The new multi-media presentation "Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers Safety Factor" was designed to build awareness of hazards that can befall single Soldiers during off-duty activities.

Off-duty accidents claimed the lives of 76 single Soldiers in fiscal 2007 and hundreds more were injured or suffered adverse mental or physical results due to engaging in careless or high-risk behavior, according to officials at the U.S. Army Combat Readiness/Safety Center . So the USACRSC teamed with the Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation Command to launch the presentation.

"BOSS Safety Factor is specifically aimed at the young Soldiers, 18-25 years of age, and addresses healthy eating and lifestyle habits that are so critical for our young men and women in uniform," said FMWRC Command Sgt. Maj. Abe Vega. "It takes a common-sense approach to daily life in the Army and helps the Soldier understand how to make positive, healthy choices."

The one-hour training module, which incorporates video, photos and first-person experiences, will be shown at events hosted by the BOSS organization.

"It is a tremendous opportunity to present Safety Factors at BOSS Council meetings on installations Army-wide. It also takes advantage of peer-on-peer training," said Vega.

The presentation uses the tagline, "It only takes one second to become a statistic," to drive home the message that the simplest, most mundane of activities can end in injury or death if proper care is not taken.

"Life is about decisions. Decisions dictate how we live the rest of our lives. Soldiers must understand the importance one bad decision can mean," said Vega.

Soldiers learn that in a single week, there are over a half-million opportunities for any one of them to become a statistic.

"If we knew ahead of time about accidents they would be appointments - we can certainly do a lot to prevent them," said Vega. "Safety Factor urges Soldiers assess any activity for potential risks and hazards."

Employing humor, Safety Factor characterizes single Soldiers into five, at-risk "personalities": the Barracks Rat, Sports Star, Thrill Seeker, Club Hopper, and Motor Vehicle Enthusiast. Serious fact-filled discussion follows, with the facilitator relating hazards associated with activities and behaviors typical of each personality type.

Already producing results, the presentation seems to strike a chord with Soldiers, many of whom express a common sentiment in their feedback comments - it's a real eye opener. "Some people don't realize that they would fit into one of these categories. I realized that I do and it was a wake-up call for me," said one viewer.

A series of tri-fold brochures expands the Safety Factor message by making it available to Soldiers in their barracks, dayrooms and break areas.

For more information on the BOSS Safety Factor presentation, visit

(N. Joan Blackwell writes for U.S. Army Combat Readiness/Safety Center.)