After an inspection of the safety features on every bike, kick stands came up, the engines were revving, the convoy brief was over and the riders were anxious to get on the road as they braved the chilly temperatures.
The 16th Military Police Brigade conducted its first motorcycle mentorship ride of the year. This was the first of many quarterly rides that the brigade will conduct in an effort to practice good rider safety. The ride was both fun and beneficial to everyone.
“This is a training venue that will allow our brigade, battalion, and company mentors to check out the riders within the organization and ensure that their motorcycles, personal protective equipment and credentials are up to par prior to the riding season”, explained Jay Mang, 16th MP Bde., safety and occupational health specialist.
The riding season typically starts around May, but with nicer weather the roads are starting to see a lot more motorcycles on them. Unfortunately, with the riding season comes the increased potential for accidents.
The Army sees about 62% of the motorcycle accidents occurring May – September. The Department of Defense loses an average of 76 Service Members annually due to motorcycles, making programs like the 16th MP Bde. motorcycle mentorship program so vital to saving lives.
With so much potential for injury, leaders at every level need to be active in ensuring that their Soldiers are prepared and safe before, during and after the ride. Mentorship rides, like one the 16th MP Bde. recently hosted, provide a great opportunity to learn preparedness and safety.
“It gets leadership involvement at looking at a Soldier’s bike, PPE (personal protective equipment) and see how they ride during the actual ride,” said Sgt. 1st Class Charles Pierce, motorcycle mentor, 16th MP Bde.
Despite the cold and dangers of riding, the Soldiers enjoyed the ride.
“Rain or shine I’ll ride,” said Sgt. Robert Patella, automated logistics specialist, 118th Military Police Company (Airborne).
Proficiency rides are part of the unit motorcycle mentorship program and are required quarterly as per the Brigade Motorcycle Standard Operating Procedure.
Safety and mentorship programs like the 16th MP Bde. motorcycle mentorship program are small but necessary steps to ensuring that our Soldiers remain mission ready.