By: Sgt. 1st Class Kelvin Ringold, 13th ESC Public Affairs
FORT HOOD, Texas – In the military, Soldiers deploy and train constantly, and all measures are taken to mitigate risks that can harm them. As the pandemic wanes and the weather warms, protecting the Army’s number one priority, its Soldiers, is paramount.
Soldiers and leaders from the 49th Transportation Battalion, 13th Expeditionary Sustainment Command, held safety stand-down day May 27.
“Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial start of the summer season,” said Capt. Davin Harmon, Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 49th Transportation Battalion. “Making sure no one is injured from something we can control is extremely important.”
Soldiers received training from subject manner experts on topics relating to alcohol and accident prevention, motorcycle safety, distracted driving Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention and home safety.
Joining in to help with the training was Cadet Alex English. English is part of the Army’s annual Cadet Summer Training and was happy to give some training.
After being prior service and living in the barracks, English thought that regardless of if a Soldier is in the barracks or their own home, learning about home safety is always important.
“Having lived in the barracks, you just have to depend on the Department of Public Works to fix issues or identify problems,” English said. “Training like this informs them about safety issues they can apply once they are finally out of the barracks.”
1st Sgt. Terrance Porter, Headquarters and Headquarters, 13th ESC, instructed Soldiers on the dangers of distracted and impaired driving, and stressed the seriousness after some lighthearted crown interaction.
“We make light of the issue, but it’s a serious threat to Soldiers,” Porter said.
After a Soldier donned the Army Substance Abuse Program “drunk goggles,” which helps simulate impairment, Porter proved an important point from the crowd’s reaction to simple questions about concentrating behind the road.
“You focused on so much stuff while driving,” Porter said. “Someone please help me understand when you have time for distractions like, texting, eating or putting on make-up, because you don’t.”
Sgt. Nyesha Gause, 151st Movement Control Team, 49th Transportation Battalion, volunteers to help SHARP representatives inform Soldiers to help rid the corrosive from Army ranks. Working closely with SHARP reps, she was able to present a class during the safety stand-down, and advocates wholeheartedly what the program represents.
“Teaching this class is important because I don’t want mine, or any Soldiers, to get hurt and to trust each other,” said Gause. “They should be able to come to work and not worry about being harassed. They should be able to just focus on the mission.”
Porter let Soldiers know that just because it’s a long weekend, the responsibility of caring for one another does not take a break.
“We’re Soldiers 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” Porter explained. “We need to take care of each other all the time, not just during the duty day.
The 49th Transportation Battalion’s Battalion Commander, Lt. Col. Andrew S. Carpenter, thanked the Soldiers for all they do, and urged them to be safe and remember what they learned.
“I couldn’t be prouder of this battalion,” Carpenter said. “This only works if you apply the knowledge you were given. Enjoy yourselves, enjoy your weekend and enjoy your Family time.”