Commentary

June 21, 2012

Lead 7 Sends

NTC/Fort Irwin Command Sgt. Maj. Lance P. Lehr

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When I spoke to all of the senior NCOs upon my arrival, among other things, I talked about my priorities.  Among them is:  taking care of the Soldiers, families, and civilian employees in our community.  With opportunity leave just a week away, I’m using this, my first “Lead 7 Sends” to remind our Soldiers, families and civilian employees about safety.

Now, I’ve been around for a while and have given or been the recipient of hundreds, if not thousands of safety briefings.  I’ve heard all of the slogans, campaigns, and initiatives designed to raise awareness and reduce accidents, injuries, and unnecessary death.  I’m not saying that these aren’t successful, they truly are, and will continue to be, but personally I like to keep things simple……Think!

Think about what you’re doing.  Think about the risks.  Think about reducing risks to protect yourselves, your loved ones, and those around you.  Think!

It really won’t take much effort for us all to have a safe summer/opportunity leave if we apply just a little thought to what we’re doing – before we do it.

Privately owned vehicle and privately owned motorcycle accidents continue to be a great threat to us all. Our remote location contributes to the risk our Soldiers, family members and civilian employees face when leaving and returning to post.  Simple things such as speeding, driving while fatigued, seat belts, cell phones (without a hands free device) and driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs can not only ruin your day, but could result in death or serious injury to you or a loved one, or even worse- to innocents who happen to be in the line of fire.

Motorcycle riders — our skills are perishable. Ride defensively.  Wear your personal protective equipment (PPE) to include bright clothing during the day and reflective garments during limited visibility.  Don’t assume that motorists see you … they usually do not.

Water sports such as swimming, waterskiing, and boating bring additional risks of drowning and other injuries. Watch out for your loved ones and each other while you’re having fun and know and understand the dangers involved in these activities.  Know that water and alcohol don’t mix. Consuming alcohol and participating in water activities is extremely dangerous and can be deadly. Don’t mix the two!  Think!

Why is it that we’re all so aware of the dangers associated with high temperatures while we’re training during a rotation, but often forget to apply the same principals while off-duty?  Clearly the knowledge is there … ensure you are hydrated and use sunscreen when participating in outdoor activities.  Remember that prior heat injury predisposes you to a future heat injury.

Our mission here is critical and all of us are needed to accomplish it!  Enjoy your summer, take opportunity leave, and think about what you’re doing so that we all make it home safely.

LEAD, TRAIN, WIN!




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