On Jan. 20, our nation will celebrate the birth of one of our honored and esteemed leaders — Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  Dr. King’s efforts resulted in legislation that guarantees  the universal application of the Constitution for all Americans.   He also gave every American a vision of brotherhood and unity through his practice of non-violence.

We in the XVIII Airborne Corps and Fort Bragg are proud to celebrate the birth and life of this great American.

As with most long weekends, Soldiers and Family members  will capitalize on the opportunity to take to the roads and visit loved ones.  As leaders, we must be concerned about the increase of vehicular accidents, suicides, alcohol abuse and domestic violence incidents.  Leaders at all levels must do everything possible to prevent these incidents.  Use our professional resources such as ASAP drug and alcohol substance abuse counselors, the Soldier Family Assistance Center, chaplains and mental health providers for assistance with counseling, information and other needs during this long weekend.  Preventing further losses is everyone’s business, not just commanders.

Leaders at all levels will be involved with the weekend plans for each of their Soldiers.  I expect leaders to review travel plans and use the resources available to assist our Soldiers in making sound and safe decisions.

In an effort to prevent accidents and fatalities over this weekend, all military personnel  will complete the following with assistance fi·om their unit leadership:

Receive an end of duty day safety briefing from unit Commanders and first sergeants prior to being released for the weekend. This will include POV/motorcycle safety, alcohol and DUI prevention, travel safety, weapons safety, fatigue, off-limits establishments and other off duty safety issues as appropriate prior to being released.  Additionally,  winter driving hazards such as rain, ice, snow, slick roads and vehicle survivor packs will be discussed.   Winter weather exposure injury prevention and winter sports safety should also be highlighted.

Complete the TRiPS, travel risk-planning system, prior to any travel beyond 150 miles.  This risk assessment  is available at https://safety.army.mil/.

Conduct POV/motorcycle safety inspections.   This inspection  will be conducted by our first line leadership on this installation.

Update battle buddy rosters and review battle buddy responsibilities with each Soldier.

Conduct and revalidate the requirements I am counseling  on the Installation Motorcycle Policy.

All personnel  in the XVIII Airborne Corps and on Fort Bragg must commit to the safety of each other.  We are a team and we care about each other’s safety both on and off duty.  Beth and I wish you a safe and happy holiday weekend.