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Extra travel requires extra safety

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BY MAJ. GEN. JEFF SMITH
Fort Knox Commander
As we begin to plan and prepare for the Winter Holiday Season—2012, I want to take this opportunity to thank every member of the US Army Cadet Command and Fort Knox team for your support, and congratulate you on our many accomplishments. Your commitment and the work that you do throughout the year directly enhance quality of life, readiness, and ultimately the security of this great nation.
This holiday season will provide the opportunity to spend time with family and friends, to travel, or perhaps just enjoy some rest and relaxation. In any case, it is a season that warrants some special planning and considerations to ensure that it is an enjoyable time and allows for our safe return after the holidays.
During the up-coming months, we must be vigilant in our safety and accident prevention efforts for both on and off-duty activities. To that end, I want to ensure that every Soldier, Cadet, and civilian employee receives a safety briefing prior to the holiday season. While your briefings should be tailored to your organization and geographical location, primary focus areas for this holiday season include traffic safety, fire prevention, cold injury prevention, and prevention of slips and falls.
It is important to remember that we are not only responsible for the accountability and safety of those under our stead, but also for one another. In addition to safety briefings, I want to encourage the use of tools such as designated “Battle Buddies” and “Mid-Leave Radio Checks.” These tools rely on one person making contact (checking in) with another, and provide an excellent opportunity to influence decisions and behavior positively.
While this season may provide the opportunity for many of us to enjoy the company and fellowship of family and friends, it is important to remember that others may not be so fortunate. Whenever possible, we should consider including others who may be geographically separated from their friends and loved ones to join in some of our planned festivities. This simple act could prevent someone from being alone during the holiday season.
Should you need assistance with safety planning for the holidays you can contact Greg Bourgeois, USACC Safety Program Manager, (502) 624-2898, or email: gregory.bourgeois@usacc.army.mil.
Best wishes for the holiday season.