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  • Vehicle Safety

    We had 3500 soldiers deployed and lost no one in COMBAT RELATED death overseas.

    Fellow Soldiers:


    We need to take action on a problem within our ranks before we lose another Soldier.


    Since 22 February, four Wisconsin Army National Guard Soldiers have died and two more were seriously injured not on duty, patrolling in Iraq or Afghanistan, but off duty, driving on Wisconsin roads.


    The Soldiers, ranging from 21 to 24 years in age, were all involved in traffic accidents failure to stop at a red light, driver ejected during single car rollover, driver ejected and struck by truck and trailer after crossing center line, motorcycle accidents while not wearing a helmet. True, the state of Wisconsin does not require helmets when riding motorcycles, but the Department of Defense does, regardless of duty status see AR 385-10 and TAG Policy Memorandum 27 (1 April 2008) for further information.


    Speed was a factor in at least one accident. Three of the fatalities had returned from deployments within the last two years. The most recent accident, which left the Soldier in serious condition, occurred 14 April.


    The numbers are alarming, and they are unacceptable. We are professionals, and tragedies such as these are preventable. Therefore, I am calling for next month's drill to begin with a safety stand-down a thorough assessment that ensures our Soldiers know and understand driving risks and how to mitigate those risks.


    Leaders can preach safety, but if we are going to prevent another needless tragedy it is up to each and every one of us to practice it. I need every Soldier to take responsibility for his or her safety while driving as well as the safety of his or her passengers.


    Privately-owned vehicle and motorcycle accidents remain the number one cause of death and serious injury to our Soldiers. This is a critical statistic because we all drive to some extent to accomplish our Guard mission. One Soldier lost to injury or death because of a traffic accident is one less Soldier that is needed for missions at home and abroad. More importantly, it is one less battle buddy to rely on, one less comrade to celebrate with. We can fill a vacancy, but we cannot replace a lost Soldier.


    We have tools to help keep our Soldiers safe we just need to use them. One such tool available to all Soldiers is the Accident Avoidance Course, which can be taken online or on CD. This course includes examples of preventable fatal accidents, surveys on driving habits and attitudes, and quizzes on best driving practices. The Wisconsin National Guard has required this training since 2006. In addition, the Wisconsin National Guard pays for motorcycle training for its Soldiers. For more information on this program, call the Safety and Occupational Health Office at 608-242-3341.


    Additional training information for next month's safety stand-down can be found at the Safety and Occupational Health site on the Wisconsin National Guard Portal: https://www.wi-guard.ngb.army.mil/sites/SA/default.aspx




    We shouldn't forget about safety when we aren't in uniform, just as we don't short-change our attention to safety when we are in uniform. Safety is 24-7, 360 degrees on duty, off duty and non-duty.








    Sincerely,

    ////signed////

    Mark E Anderson
    Brigadier General, WIARNG
    Assistant Adjutant General - Army

  • #2
    Re: Vehicle Safety

    Moral of the story: Stay out of Wisconsin

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Vehicle Safety

      Good post Becky. Many do not realize how many soldiers we lose AFTER they come home. It seems like they fall off the radar of family and command support. We just de-mobed around 900 soldiers and many came home to no jobs. This coupled with reintegration issues and alchohol can only make the situation worse.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Vehicle Safety

        Stay out of New Mexico while you're at it.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Vehicle Safety

          driving and suicide loses, it's so preventable

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Vehicle Safety

            Exactly. It is sad. Happends way too often but especially sad in these circumstances. I bartend part time and when you think you have seen it all... actually know a few from different units that come in the bar and i've scolded one before. Getting trashed is one thing, add DD to it and it becomes a complete different issue.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Vehicle Safety

              I'm not riding my motorcycle till after basic. Just in case......

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Vehicle Safety

                ummm, this has nothing to do with Wisconsin, Rhode Island, New Mexico, or any other state. But I'll tell you something weird that is sort of comparable.

                One year in Texas at AT, we had either 8 or 10 deaths. Keep in mind this was from one of the largest combat divisions on record, I want to say the 49th had at least 12,000 soldiers, not sure.

                A lot of these were vehicle accidents, a tank turning over, a jeep, etc.

                Let's face it driving ANY kind of vehicle is extremely dangerous, if you aren't sharp. I'm a poster boy for how not to stay sharp. With my sleep apnea, if I don't use the mask, I can be asleep at the wheel in a heartbeat. I've had 4 wrecks since Sept 2006, at least two of them directly related to falling asleep.
                I'm wearing a mask at night now, so northern DFW is safer now than it was before.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Vehicle Safety

                  we had a briefing about this and POV safety at RSP this weekend. it is very sad

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Vehicle Safety

                    reminds me of something we were told a few days ago. A soldier died at Camp Stryker, not from IDF, not from rockets. From not groundguiding a vehicle right. Really sad we continue to lose joes not from firefights but from poor vehicle safety.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Vehicle Safety

                      Yeah, ground guiding is very dangerous. A soldier at Camp Adder was ran over while ground guiding a Forklift. =/

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Vehicle Safety

                        Originally posted by Teuvil
                        Yeah, ground guiding is very dangerous. A soldier at Camp Adder was ran over while ground guiding a Forklift. =/
                        I don't understand how things like this happen.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Vehicle Safety

                          Originally posted by PalatialGabe
                          I don't understand how things like this happen.
                          Horse play and lack of "attention to detail" is the most common reason for this. Some troopers need extra supervision.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Vehicle Safety

                            Those windows are flavored for a reason.

                            Comment

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