U.S. Army Signal Activity-Fort Bragg (USASA) hosted a presentation ceremony Dec. 17 to recognize the company’s effort of achieving 1,250 days free of driving under the influence (DUI) charges as of Dec. 5.
Capt. Jason Bennett, USASA commander, said this milestone was a big achievement for not only his Soldiers, but also the Army. The company consists of 57 active-duty service members, nine Department of the Army civilians and 24 contractors. The last DUI in the company was in July 4, 2015. In the last nine years, the company only has had two DUIs.
“I’ve been in a lot of Army organizations and generally the goal is 30 days DUI-free and then I know that at 100 days, you get a four-day pass — that’s the Bragg standard,” Bennett said. “So if you look at 1,250 days, we’ve crushed that for a CONUS-based (contiguous United States) organization.”
Bennett’s first sergeant, 1st Sgt. Rachel Terrell, echoed Bennett’s comments. She’s been stationed at large Army installations similar to Bragg like Fort Campbell, Kentucky and said the units she’s encountered typically did not reach the 100-day mark.
“So 1,250 (days) is showing that the Soldiers are actually doing what they’re supposed to,” Terrell said. “They’re taking care of each other; they’re taking to heart when we say don’t drink and drive, don’t do dumb stuff (because) your career is more important than that.”
There to present the achievement and recognize USASA Soldiers were, Command Sgt. Maj. Jennifer Taylor, U.S. Army Network Enterprise Technology Command (NETCOM) command sergeant major, and Chief Warrant Officer 5 Tammy Surratt, NETCOM command chief warrant officer.
Taylor said she was truly honored to be at Fort Bragg to present the recognition to USASA. During the presentation, she quoted Mark Twain and said physical courage is in great demand, but moral courage is often absent.
“Why do I say that? Because moral courage is what it takes to be where you’re at today,” she said to the USASA team. “To be at 1,250 days DUI-free, you all should be immensely proud of yourselves.”
Terrell said it is important for senior command to recognize the Soldiers who helped the unit reach more than 1,000 DUI-free days because the men and women need to know that their efforts are seen.
“You always want to give them a pat on the back because most of the time they think ‘hey, we’ve been doing this and nobody cares,’” she said. “It shows them that they’ve done a great thing for the company and we are going to take steps to recognize you for it.”
Recognizing Soldiers for doing the right thing often gets overlooked, said Bennett. One thing he realized USASA has is a career-oriented group of Soldiers.
“They’re young, but they’re very mature,” he said. “What allow our Soldiers to be adults. A lot of other units micromanage down to the lowest levels, they treat Soldiers like children — we don’t do that here.”
Apart from taking advantage of the various ride applications and ride-share programs out there, USASA also has their own a drag-and-ride program for their Soldiers in the event they are unable to get a safe ride home. They are able to call someone in the unit for a lift. Each USASA Soldier has Bennett and Terrell’s phone numbers as a last resort for a safe ride home, but they said so far no one has taken them up on that offer. Bennett also added some of this Soldiers drive for Uber during their time off.
During the ceremony, Taylor also presented a coin to three individuals for their commitment to USASA. Patrick Cater, USASA regional hub node information assurance manager, was recognized for his efforts in revamping and organizing the security room; 1st Lt. Shuang Liu, USASA executive officer, was recognized for being the go-to for all things managing and handling events for and participation of USASA, and Spc. Ty Thompson, satellite communication system operator/maintainer, who is starting the unit’s maintenance program.