1. We have had another great year in USARPAC! This season between Thanksgiving and New Years is a time of great joy and celebration. We will give thanks, visit Family and friends, and reflect on the past as we anticipate what the New Year will bring.

2. Whether you are traveling to other locations or staying in the local area, make sure you consider the changes in the season, whether it be icy roads, or high surf. A major concern for our personnel and their Families is motor vehicle accidents, the number one cause of holiday fatalities and the number one killer of our off-duty Soldiers. Many accidents are caused by fatigue, excessive speed, indisciple and drinking. Be sure to plan accordingly and allow ample time to reach your destination, and when driving, be alert, be prudent, and always anticipate the unexpected. As you get ready to travel this holiday season, I ask each of you to use the TRiPS online assessment tool, located at https://safety.army.mil/TRIPS.

3. Holidays also mean getting together with family and friends to celebrate, and many of these celebrations often involve alcohol. If hosting a party, be responsible for your actions and attentive to the alcohol consumption of your guests. Check to ensure designated drivers are available for those who drink, or provide accommodations for your guests to sleep over. If you choose to drink, remember that passing the keys to a friend may be the most important decision you make.

4. Remember, leader engagement is essential, and we must continuously apply risk management to all aspects of our holiday activities. Stay safe, celebrate responsibly, and I wish you all the best for a Merry Christmas and a Happy Holiday season!