Mission readiness is an im­portant factor in a Soldier’s ca­reer, but that can be interrupted when an individual is involved with certain high-risk behav­iors.

The Fort Bragg Risk Reduc­tion Program, part of the Army Substance Abuse Program, is a tool to help commanders iden­tify and reduce high-risk be­havior in their Soldiers.

These high-risk behaviors in­clude: financial problems, child abuse, spouse abuse, crimes against property, crimes against persons, traffic violations, alco­hol and drug offenses, absent without leave, suicide gestures and attempts, sexually transmit­ted diseases, injuries and safety accidents.

Marci Curry, coordinator, Risk Reduction Program, Fort Bragg ASAP is one of two co­ordinators who cover the entire post. The coordinators collect data from incidents that have already occurred on the installa­tion and produce a shot-group report. The report lets battalion commanders know where they stand in their Soldiers’ high­risk behavior in relation to the Fort Bragg, U.S. Army Forces

Command or Army average. The shot-group looks like a dart board with 15 sections for each risk behavior. The closer the dots are to the middle of the target, the fewer incidents for that particular behavior.

“The shot-group report iden­tifies trends for the battalion, and one trend early on in my unit was alcohol incidents,” said Lt. Col. Jarrett Thomas, commander, Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, 82nd Airborne Division.

“We focused our safety briefs on that topic and have since seen a reduction in that high-risk behavior. Even though we still have it, it seems to be getting a little better.”

Thomas, who has been using this program since he took com­mand in November 2012, said the shot group report is a great tool for his unit of over 800 Sol­diers to see themselves.

“I think this is just one tool that helps aid leaders in making us a little bit better, as far as our readiness and resiliency,” said Thomas.

“The Ready and Resilient Cam­paign and Risk Reduction Pro­gram all tie in. It’s all about readiness,

and identifying things like this and being able to bounce back from high-risk behavior you have as an individual,” he added.

Soldiers often partake in high­risk behaviors, especially after a deployment, but Thomas said they host quarterly, safety stand down days, as well as weekly safety briefs to try and mitigate these behaviors.

“Instead of taking that risk, do something more productive. I mean, what we do is pretty risky already — jumping out of aircraft, we don’t need to add to that,” said Thomas.

“If we can do things, like call a friend, a battle buddy or a taxi, those kinds of things help. I’m hearing that on a more frequent basis from my company com­manders, first sergeants, and my command sergeant major as well. I know it’s working,” added Thomas.

Capt. Luis Flores, com­mander, Headquarters Support Company, Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, 82nd Airborne Division remembers several times he was approached

by a Soldier explaining to him about a situation that they were able to avoid because of a safety br ief.

“I had a Soldier who was in a motorcycle accident approach me and say that had he not heard about the motorcycle safety class during a safety brief and at­tended it, he would’ve been hurt more when he was in that acci­dent,” said Flores. “Without the Risk Reduction Program, more serious incidences would occur.

“We’ve created an atmosphere as leaders, using the informa­tion from the risk factor shot group where Soldiers realize we really care about their well-be­ing. They’re not afraid to come to the leaders for help, or to get their battle buddies help,” said Flores. “The program helps us to see an issue or trend happen­ing within our units, and get a handle on it before it gets out of control.”

Commanders do not have to handle these discussions with their Soldiers alone. The Fort Bragg Installation Prevention Team has subject matter experts

from different agencies around the installation, such as Provost Marshal’s Office, Preventive Medicine, Army Community Service, Department of Social Work, Installation Safety Of­ficer, and other agencies to as­sist as needed. The departments will teach classes on their re­spective subjects upon request.

“If we can look at trends like this, for example, suicide ide­ation, suicide attempts, or ac­tual suicides, or where we lose a paratrooper drinking and driv­ing, or by motorcycle accidents, things that affect mission readi­ness substantially, it will help keep us on the right track,” said Thomas.

“So when we are called to deploy, we can deploy with the maximum amount of para­troopers we have in the battal­ion.

“The shot-group report gives us as leaders, an opportunity to address those concerns, talk about them together, take the trends we see and use them in our counselings with our indi­vidual Soldiers,” said Thomas.