1st Female USADT Commander

1st Lt. Lauran Glover, the first woman drill commander of the U.S. Army Drill Team [USADT], 4th Battalion, 3d U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard), and her Soldiers perform, Nov. 23, at a football game at Candlestick Stadium in San Francisco, Ca. (Courtesy photo)

1st Lt. Lauran Glover, the first woman drill commander of the U.S. Army Drill Team [USADT], 4th Battalion, 3d U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard), and her Soldiers perform, Nov. 23, at a football game at Candlestick Stadium in San Francisco, Ca. (Courtesy photo)


Being a female officer in a mostly male military is not the easiest job; however, there are women who continue to tear down the walls and barriers that have prevented them from certain positions.
1st Lt. Lauran Glover, a military police officer, has paved the way for women in the U.S. Army when she was recently selected as the first woman drill commander of the U.S. Army Drill Team [USADT], 4th Battalion, 3d U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard).
For more than 50 years, the USADT has showcased the U.S. Army both nationally and internationally through breathtaking routines with bayonet-tipped 1903 Springfield rifles.
As the commander, Glover will lead that team of Soldiers in drill and ceremony during performances for military, government, non-profit, and civilian organizations.
“I am honored and proud for this opportunity to represent the Army, women and my country,” said Glover.
A graduate of the officer candidate school, Glover was first assigned as a military police officer at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Following that assignment, she became a platoon leader for the 289th Military Police [MP] Company (The Old Guard) on Joint Base Myer – Henderson Hall, Va.
“When I joined the Army, I had know idea the Army even had a drill team,” said Glover. “After I saw one of their performances, I knew I wanted to be part of that team and their legacy.”
She added only at The Old Guard can a Soldier conduct tactical training one day and then perform a world-class ceremony for the American public on the next day.
Performing in ceremonies is nothing new to Glover; after all, she was as a key member in the Military District of Washington’s 2014 Twilight Tattoo [TLT] and Spirit of America [SOA] performances.
TLT and SOA are live-action military pageants featuring Soldiers from The Old Guard and the U.S. Army Band “Pershing’s Own.” They give a glimpse into American history through performances by The U.S. Army Blues, vocalists from The U.S. Army Band Downrange and U.S. Army Band Voices, The Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps, and The U.S. Army Drill Team.
“I enjoyed my time as a narrator during those shows,” said Glover. “It took countless hours of preparation and execution to prepare for the crowds averaging in the thousands from all across the country.”
Glover’s performances earned her numerous positive comments from not only the attendees but also from the senior leadership at The Old Guard.
“I have great leaders at here, and their experience and guidance has helped mold me to be the commander of the drill team,” said Glover. “It shows that if you work hard it doesn’t matter your race or gender.”
Glover said she is happy that more women in the military are stepping up to take on rolls traditionally filled by men.
“I hope I do inspire other women and Soldiers just as I was inspired by my mother, who also serve in the military,” said Glover. “If you want to be or do something, it is all up to that individual.”

1st Lt. Lauran Glover, the first woman drill commander of the U.S. Army Drill Team [USADT], 4th Battalion, 3d U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard), leads her Soldiers during a half-time performance, Nov. 23, at a football game at Candlestick Stadium in San Francisco, Ca. (Courtesy photo)

1st Lt. Lauran Glover, the first woman drill commander of the U.S. Army Drill Team [USADT], 4th Battalion, 3d U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard), leads her Soldiers during a half-time performance, Nov. 23, at a football game at Candlestick Stadium in San Francisco, Ca. (Courtesy photo)

Plenty of Help to Getting to Final Walk

The attention to detail and precision required by soldier’s responsible for guarding the Tomb of the Unknowns Soldier requires an almost impossible level of discipline and dedication.As the Chief of Staff of the Army, Gen. Raymond T. Odierno said, “the soldier’s family is what makes him strong.”

It’s only with the help of one’s support system that make it a possibility.

Sgt. Steven A. Carr Jr., known as Andy to his family, was one of the select few that has the combination of selflessness, determination and support to be a tomb sentinel for almost three years.

On July 8, Carr Jr. made his last walk at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery.

This is a Sentinel’s last act in honoring the Unknowns in an official capacity.

Joined by his wife of two years, Ally B. Carr, Carr Jr. placed roses on four of the tombs as his final sign of respect and reverence.

Carr said he was recruited straight out of the regimental orientation program, the three-week program that teaches new recruits marching and rifle skills. He’s only been assigned to the tomb, he said.

Training to be at the Tomb is not an easy task.

Mrs. Carr said her husband would shine shoes for four hours a day and constantly work on his uniform.

Despite the preparation, the rigors of training still shook Sgt. Carr ‘s confidence.

“I never thought I would pass,” said Carr Jr. “You just take it one task at a time. Like any training in the Army, you just take it one day, one task at a time. So that’s all I did. Eight months later, I completed the training.”

Mrs. Carr said during training they would both become very nervous for the tests he had to pass to become a Tomb Guard and earn his Tomb badge. Carr Jr. managed to meet the challenges and has worked at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier for 35 months.

Carr Jr. estimates he made around 900 walks, with over 500 changing of the guard ceremonies. The assignment wasn’t one he thought he was cut out for at first.

“I’m a local, I came here as a kid.” said Carr Jr. “I never imagined doing this. When I first got here I told my dad I wasn’t going to do it. He called me crazy.”

With a push from his father, Carr Jr. decided to take on the challenge. Ally said her husband was always meticulous and task oriented.

“I knew he had it in him,” she said.
Carr Jr. said it was with the help of his tremendous support system that he was able to work at the tomb for the past three years. It took the sacrifice of not only his time, but also his family’s.

“I have a huge support system,” said Mrs. Carr. “He has a huge support system. It’s one of the reasons why we are so good together. We had a lot of help.” The demands on the couple’s time didn’t cease for any reason, even

Sgt. Steven A. Carr Jr. performs his final walk at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier July 8, 2015. Carr Jr. served at the Tomb for 35 months and performed 900 walks. (U.S. Army Photo by Spc. Brandon Dyer)

Sgt. Steven A. Carr Jr. performs his final walk at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier July 8, 2015. Carr Jr. served at the Tomb for 35 months and performed 900 walks. (U.S. Army Photo by Spc. Brandon Dyer)

Sgt. Steven A. Carr Jr. lays roses on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers on July 8, 2015 at Arlington National Cemetery. This was Carr's final act of respect and reverence before leaving his position as a Tomb sentinel.

Sgt. Steven A. Carr Jr. lays roses on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers on July 8, 2015 at Arlington National Cemetery. This was Carr’s final act of respect and reverence before leaving his position as a Tomb sentinel.

when they got married while Carr Jr. was at the tomb. Luckily Mrs. Carr’s sister Juliann D. Guiffre has a background in event planning.

Helping execute their wedding wasn’t the first time she helped this couple.

“I went to college with Andy (Carr Jr.),” said Guiffre. “I introduced them.”

Guiffre said she knew Carr Jr. was the right choice for her sister as he trained for the tomb.

“He would get off from his Tomb training at six o’clock in the morning and drive three hours just to be with Ally,” said Guiffre. “His dedication to the military, his dedication to family really cemented my idea of him being my brother-in-law.”

It was only with the creative scheduling of his spouse and family that enabled Carr. Jr. to be so successful as a Tomb sentinel.

“The schedule is very demanding,” said Guiffre. “They both handled it really well. Ally is very understanding of the time he has to be away.”

“He’s missed every holiday,” said Mrs. Carr. “Everybody has been so understanding.”

Family holidays would take place the day after the holiday or the day before to help accommodate Carr Jr.’s hectic work schedule, said Mrs. Carr.

“He’s worked so hard,” said Mrs. Carr. “Crazy hard. You can’t imagine the lengths these guys go to stay as pristine and to stay focused.”

For Carr Jr., the sacrifices required pale in comparison to the honor of serving at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

“Service members give their lives and identities for this country.” said Carr Jr. “It’s worth protecting. These three service members deserve our hard work. That’s the drive. If that’s not your drive, you’re wrong.”

Sgt. Steven A. Carr Jr. is joined by his wife, Ally B. Carr at the Rose Laying Ceremony July 8, 2015. Tomb sentinels are often joined by members of their family on their last walk at the Tomb.

Sgt. Steven A. Carr Jr. is joined by his wife, Ally B. Carr at the Rose Laying Ceremony July 8, 2015. Tomb sentinels are often joined by members of their family on their last walk at the Tomb.

Chief Warrant Officer 5 Jeanne Y. Pace Retires After 40+ Years

Chief Warrant Officer 5 Jeanne Y. Pace has a unique perspective.

       Enlisting in the Woman’s Army Corps (WAC) in 1972, Pace has been in the Army Band field for over 40 years. Back when Pace first joined the Army, Women were still being taught how to do their make-up in basic training.

Pace said the Army has changed in the time she’s been apart of it “most significantly” for women.

“From not being a part of the Regular Army,” said Pace. “To the lift of combat exclusion.”

Retiring this week after 43 years of service, Pace has many milestones to her credit. Pace is the last active duty soldier from the WAC, the longest serving woman, and the only woman to ever command the Old Guard’s Fife and Drum Corps (FDC).

 

Chief Warrant Officer 5 Jeanne Y. Pace enlisted in 1972. (U.S. Army Photo)

Chief Warrant Officer 5 Jeanne Y. Pace enlisted in 1972. (U.S. Army Photo)

Pace has had many opportunities to be the first woman to accomplish things, she is hopeful it won’t be an “only” or “last” situation.

Though she is often uncomfortable in the spotlight, Pace said she found a way to accept the attention.

During her time with the FDC, Pace had a much different experience from other assignments.

“As the Commander I did not perform with the FDC; I was responsible for the quality of their musical performance but did not lead them in performances,” said Pace. “I did march with them on occasion during street parades.”

Pace said the highlight of her time at The Old Guard was when the nation was in need.

        “Aside from the obvious prestigious audiences, the most defining moment was the attack on the Pentagon on 9/11,” said Pace. “FDC Soldiers were involved with Operation Noble Eagle. We participated in recovery efforts and security measures at the Pentagon and on Fort Myer during the days that followed.”

Though many things in her time in the Army changed, there has always been one constant: Music.

“Music has been an integral part of Army life,” said Pace. “From the earliest days when musicians were utilized to rally the commands and entertained troops around the evening campfires!”

Pace said she was able to reach her goals by simply staying motivated.

“Many things I had little control of,” said Pace. “I guess recognizing opportunities that presented themselves and looking for challenges, not the comfortable jobs.”

By learning from superiors, peers, and subordinates, Pace stayed relevant. “Don’t be afraid of change,” said Pace. “Semper gumby – always flexible.” Pace said the advice she would want if she could do it all over again is to keep a better balance in life and take care of herself as much as others.

Pace’s future plans include utilizing her GI Bill and perhaps doing some substitute teaching.
“In other words, no full time job,” said Pace. “Part time to allow me to do some traveling and enjoy my hobbies.”

Chief Warrant Officer 5 Jeanne Y. Pace is the only woman to command the FDC. (U.S.Army Photo)

Chief Warrant Officer 5 Jeanne Y. Pace is the only woman to command the FDC. (U.S.Army Photo)

Former Old Guard Soldier Awarded Tomb Badge

Col. Johnny Davis, commander, 3d U.S. Infantry regiment (The Old Guard), awards John Francis Curtis Jr., 77, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Guard Identification Badge for his one-year of honorable service from August 1958 to August 1959 as a tomb sentinel. Davis presented the badge and a certificate during a ceremony in Curtis’ Philadelphia home, Feb. 11, 2015. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Luisito Brooks)

Col. Johnny Davis, commander, 3d U.S. Infantry regiment (The Old Guard), awards John Francis Curtis Jr., 77, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Guard Identification Badge for his one-year of honorable service from August 1958 to August 1959 as a tomb sentinel. Davis presented the badge and a certificate during a ceremony in Curtis’ Philadelphia home, Feb. 11, 2015. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Luisito Brooks)

PHILADELPHIA – Only 630 Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Guard Identification Badges have ever been awarded since its creation in 1958, second only to a badge awarded to U.S. service members who become astronauts.
During a private ceremony surrounded by his family and close friends, 77-year-old, John Francis Curtis Jr., former tomb sentinel, is now a badge holder for his honorable service to the U.S. Army at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Col. Johnny Davis, commander for the Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall-based 3d U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard), presented the badge to at Curtis’ residence here Feb. 11, 2015.
“What a pleasure it was for me to travel from Fort Myer, Va., to take part in a special ceremony,” said Davis. “The duty of serving at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is a very special assignment that only a select few in our nation’s Army gets a chance to do, and Curtis did that.”
Curtis served at The Old Guard from Aug. 7, 1958 until Aug. 7, 1959. It was during his service with the regiment when he volunteered to guard the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery, Va. The Tomb receives between four to five million visitors annually, including dignitaries and foreign heads of state.
It is the solemn responsibility of the Tomb Guard to honor and guard the Tomb 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and 365 days a year. Day and night, through summer heat and winter storms, the guards watch the tomb without pause.
He was retroactively awarded the badge because before 1959 it was issued only as a temporary wear item, which meant when Curtis left The Old Guard, he could not take the badge he was originally issued with him at the end of his duty.
Back then, Soldiers could wear the badge during their tenure as a Tomb Guard; however, upon completing their duty with the regiment, the badge was returned and reissued to incoming Soldiers.
In 1963, Army Regulation 600-8-22 allowed the badge to be worn as a permanent part of the military uniform, even after Soldiers have completed their duty at the Tomb of the Unknowns.
For Curtis, that time came 56 years after he completed his last walk, rifle in hand, at the Tomb. Curtis’ family initiated the process of helping him obtain a badge after the regulation change permitted him to wear it permanently. That happened only after Curtis, who had moved on in life to become a successful architect after his stint in the Army, was properly identified as a bonafide former tomb sentinel.
“What a great patriotic American family,” said Davis. “This is such a special day, and I am glad to share this day with you.”
Sgt. Patrick Leamy, currently serving as a tomb sentinel and who attended the ceremony, said a lot has changed at the Tomb since Curtis served, but noted that one common characteristic of all tomb sentinels, regardless of generation, is the total dedication from each tomb sentinel to the Unknowns.
“It’s not about us when we are out there walking the mat,” said Leamy. “The only thing that matters is the Unknowns whom we guard every day and night.”
He added that all Tomb Sentinels share that same feeling.
Leamy went on to say that meeting Curtis and being a part of the ceremony was a great experience.
“It was an honor to spend time with him and his family,” said Leamy. “Curtis couldn’t say much, but he had some expressions that let me know that he understood what was going on.”
In addition to the badge, Curtis also received the official orders for the badge, two unit certificates and one engraved unit coin.
“He has always earned this badge, but now we have a chance to present it to him in front of his family,” said Davis to Curtis, while embracing Curtis’ hand. “I just want to thank you for your service at the Tomb, to protect those who gave up everything, to include their last names.”

John Francis Curtis Jr., 77, former Tomb Sentinel, shows a photo of himself from 56 years earlier when he served as a tomb sentinel at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Feb. 11, 2015, at his residence in Philadelphia. Curtis was awarded the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Guard Identification Badge by Col. Johnny Davis, commander, 3d U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard), for his honorable service at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier during a ceremony in his home. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Luisito Brooks)

John Francis Curtis Jr., 77, former Tomb Sentinel, shows a photo of himself from 56 years earlier when he served as a tomb sentinel at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Feb. 11, 2015, at his residence in Philadelphia. Curtis was awarded the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Guard Identification Badge by Col. Johnny Davis, commander, 3d U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard), for his honorable service at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier during a ceremony in his home. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Luisito Brooks)

Uniting For a Run After Saving Life and Limb

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(Left to right) Tim Goodman, who was struck by a Metro bus last year while jogging last August, Sgt. 1st Class Brian Williams and Sgt. 1st Class John Russell, 289th Military Police Company military policemen, 3d U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard), run together through the National Mall, Aug. 19. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Cody Torkelson)

Almost a year after the accident that severely fractured one of his legs and fractured his jaw, Tim Goodman met with the Soldiers assigned to the 289th Military Police Company, 3d U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard), who rushed in to his aid and to go on a run with them through the National Mall, Aug. 19.

“I am so excited to be here spending time with these true heroes as we run into the city together,” said Tim, a Washington, D.C., running enthusiast. “If it wasn’t for them helping me as fast as they did last year, I probably wouldn’t be here now.”

Late August 2013, Tim was out jogging when he was struck by a Metro bus at the intersection of Seventh Street and Madison Drive in Washington, D.C. Fortunately for Tim, Capt. Quenten Vereen, Sgt. 1st Class Brian Williams, Sgt. 1st Class John Russell and Spc. Christopher Flane, 289th Military Policemen, were also jogging in the same area, heard the accident, and provided lifesaving medical treatment.

“I must have a guardian angel,” said Tim. “They were just in the right place at the right time.”

These Old Guard Soldiers reacted instinctively to stabilize the bleeding from his head and leg.

Russell said he was just glad to help. “We were across the street when it happened,” said Russell. “We didn’t know if there was a neck injury or spinal injury. There was a lot of blood on the ground and we had to check him out and do what we could.”

Tim was then rushed to the MedStar Washington Hospital Center for further care for his injuries.

After two days in the hospital, Tim was released and began the long road to recovery.

“Thankfully after a year, nothing hurts,” said Tim. “Running feels mechanically different than it used to be with this titanium rod in my leg.”

Tim said he knows it will take more time to feel fine, but if it doesn’t, he is fine with it because he’s still alive.

He added he doesn’t recall a lot from the because of how traumatic the injury was, but he actually considers that to be a huge blessing.

“I was conscious during the accident, but I guess I wasn’t all there,” said Tim. “Who wants to remember something like that anyways?”

He said he said the only thing he wanted to remember was the Soldiers who saved him. Russell and Williams said they made sure to keep in contact with Tim during his recovery via email.

“It was important to us to see how he was doing,” said Williams. “We wanted Tim to know that we were there if he needed anything.”

Williams said they would continue to check-in on Tim from time to time just to see his progress.

As a veteran, Tim understood the strong bond between the military and he was grateful for the friendship of these Soldiers.

Tim took a break from running for awhile to allow his body an opportunity to properly heal.

“I had to promise my doctors that I wouldn’t run because they know how I am,” said Tim. “When I got the OK to run again, I didn’t hold back.”

Tim said when he feels exhausted running up hills and down trails and his legs tremble with fatigue, there is one thought that helped him continue.

He could still be in crutches or he could be dead.

Tim ran a half marathon in May, a full marathon in June and plans on running the Marine Corps Marathon this October.

“I just took the healing one day at a time,” said Tim. “The fact that I am out running again with the guys that helped save me is a miracle on its own.”

Old Guard Soldier honors fallen Soldiers at Flags In

by Staff Sgt. Luisito Brooks

“I have friends who died during my deployments to Iraq buried here,” said Sgt. 1st Class Ryan Joseph, infantryman, 3d U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) as he pointed to the other side of the cemetery. “And placing that American flag in front of their graves, and every grave here, shows that we have not forgotten their sacrifice.”

Joseph and more than 1,000 other Soldiers from The Old Guard participated in the annual Memorial Day tradition of “Flags-in” in Arlington National Cemetery [ANC], Va., May 22, 2014.

Since 1948, when The Old Guard was named the memorial and ceremonial unit for the U.S. Army, the unit has had the distinct honor of placing more than 400,000 flags at every tomb, gravesite and cremation niche in ANC every year.

Joseph receives a bundle of flags prior to marching into Arlington National Cemetery for Flags In.

Joseph receives a bundle of flags prior to marching into Arlington National Cemetery for Flags In.

Joseph didn’t know much about Flags-in prior to being assigned to The Old Guard, but after visiting the friends he lost during his four deployments in ANC; he developed a deep appreciation for this event.

“Enough can’t be said about what this unit does to honor our nation’s heroes,” said Joseph. “There is not one servicemember buried here that isn’t visited and honored, and to me that’s very special.”

Joseph added that being able to serve his country at The Old Guard has been one of the highlights of his career.

“I am proud to be associated with this unit that has such a unique mission,” said Joseph. “On one day we are performing at Twilight Tattoo, and then the next day we get to honor these service members. I will remember my time at here and what this unit means to the country for the rest of my life.”

For Soldiers who are part of The Old Guard but don’t have a memorial affairs mission, Joseph said Flags in is their chance to pay homage to the generations who fought for the freedoms of today in America on this large scale.

“As a member of the U.S. Army Drill Team, we travel all over the world telling the Army story through our performances, but there’s no greater joy than to just take time to honor those who paid the ultimate price,” said Joseph, the U.S. Army Drill Team platoon sergeant.

While it was his third year participating in Flags-In, Joseph said the event continues to be a monumental moment in his life.

“No matter how many times I have done Flags in, it never gets old,” said Joseph. “The feeling of pride and hope is something I know will never fade.”

Lines of Soldiers began walking through the final resting place of some of our nation’s greatest heroes. Slowly, but surely, the rows of tombs, gravesites and cremation niches had waving flags in front. Joseph and his Soldiers paused at every grave to read the name printed on the tomb.

Joseph plants a flag at a grave in Arlington National Cemtery's section 60, where most OIF and OEF veterans are interred.

Joseph plants a flag at a grave in Arlington National Cemtery’s section 60, where most OIF and OEF veterans are interred.

“It’s a unique opportunity to stop for just a moment at each gravesite and reflect on the freedoms they died for,” said Joseph. “Laying a flag is very personal and solemn occasion for each Soldier out there.”

Joseph said one of the most humbling times over the past three years has been his opportunity to place a flag at the headstone of Sgt. Audie Murphy, the most decorated Soldier in U.S. Army history.

“What can I say other than he set the standard of how we need to be as Soldiers and leaders,” said Joseph. “As a member of the Sgt. Audie Murphy Club, I made it my mission to place a flag at Audie Murphy’s tomb each year.”

Even with the numerous amounts of Soldiers walking through the cemetery with ruck sacks filled with flags, the entire 624 acres took about six hours to cover.

Realizing that their mission was coming to a close, Joseph and his Soldiers went back through to ensure ever flag was centered and straight on the gravesite.

“It’s quite a sight, to see all the flags beautifully positioned in a row blowing in the wind,” said Joseph. “I hope people come out to see the all the flags this weekend, but when they do, I want them to walk away knowing that flags are a representation of what these fallen service members gave for our country, freedom.”

Prevention and mitigation keys to Old Guard Safety Day

By Staff Sgt. Luisito Brooks

Downed power lines, drinking and driving, and motorcycle safety were just some of the topics discussed during The 3d U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard)’s annual Safety Stand Down Day, May 16, at Conmy Hall and the Community Center on Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, Va.

More than 1,500 Soldiers gathered to hear important information about a range of safety issues and concerns for the summer months and year-round, which coincides with the Army’s 101 Days of Summer Safety Campaign.

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Utility workers from Dominion Power and Electric demonstrate the dangers of downed power lines for Old Guard Soldiers at the regiment’s annual Safety Day. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Cody W. Torkelson)

“Statistically speaking, there are more incidents that occur in the summertime than any other season, so the intent of Safety Day is to set aside a specific time to just focus on how we can mitigate this problem,” said Kerry Kolhof, Occupational Health and Safety Manager for The Old Guard. “It’s the times when you let your guard down for a split second that people get hurt.”

Kolhof said the leaders at The Old Guard want Soldiers to really consider safety measures especially when they are off-duty.

“This seems to be the Army’s biggest challenge because we can’t always stop Soldiers from doing high-risk activities, but we can educate them on the consequences of their actions,” said Kolhof. “Leaders who train their Soldiers in identifying and preventing hazards will less likely find those Soldiers in a bad situation.”

The crowd of Soldiers was divided onto two groups to be able to visit each safety station; where there were displays of proper safety procedures on a whole spectrum of possible hazards ranging from fires to vehicle accidents.

Staff Sgt. Monica Banks, a Soldier who began riding a motorcycle just a month and a half ago, closely inspected all of the proper protective equipment for riding a bike.

“I thought the brief was very informative, and it provided opportunities for new riders like me to ask questions about the dangers out there,” said Banks, food service noncommissioned officer, 529th Regimental Support Company, 3d U.S. Inf. Regt. (The Old Guard). “I am always concerned about getting into an accident when riding into work, especially in this area where there is so much traffic on the roads.”

Not only did Banks enjoy the motorcycle training, but she boasted that the entire day was beneficial for everyone in attendance.

“The block of instruction was invaluable. It is important to review these safety issues because they are overlooked sometimes,” said Banks. “No matter how long you have served, no one outranks the cost of carelessness.”

Staff Sgt. Monica Banks inspects motorcycle protective equipment during the Old Guard's Safety Day. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Cody W. Torkelson)

Staff Sgt. Monica Banks inspects motorcycle protective equipment during the Old Guard’s Safety Day. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Cody W. Torkelson)

Kolhof said safety remains a priority for the Army, Military District of Washington, and The Old Guard, and if one life was saved, the training was a success.

“Soldiers shouldn’t walk away with the attitude that an accident can’t and won’t happen to me,” said Kolhof. “We are not trying to prevent people from having fun, but the purpose is to warn them on how to be safe when they’re away from the unit with their families and friends.”