Story by: Staff Sgt. Kelvin Ringold
3d U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard)
Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, Va. — Safety comes first in the military. Mission success depends on the hard work and efforts of everyone collectively. Losing any member of the team is a severe blow to any organization. Learning how to reduce those risks is an important measure taken by leadership every day.
The 3d U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) participated in a garrison wide Safety Stand Down Day May 12, 2017, on Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, Va.
Safety Stand Down occurs every May prior to the 101 days of summer.
Joined by both military and civilian organizations including the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, Fairfax County PD, JBM-HH Fire Department and Resiliency training from country singer Jimmy Wayne to name a few, everyone participated with the same mission in mind.
“Safety remains a priority for the Army, Military District of Washington, and the 3d U.S. Infantry Regiment,” said Col. Jason T. Garkey, regimental commander. “Off Duty incidents continue to be among the Army’s biggest challenges. It is important to emphasize certain safety topics and mitigating factors in order to maintain our ability to perform our daily missions and preserve the force.”
Having 13 local and outside entities there to support Safety Stand Down showed how serious the regiment takes protecting its Soldiers.
“We want our Soldiers to think about safety all of the time,” explained Kerry K. Kolhof, Safety and Occupational Health Manager for the regiment. “However Safety Day is a chance to focus on safety as a mission and not something running in the background.”
With classes on motorcycle safety, distracted driving, fire safety and home gun safety among others, Soldiers had topics that resonated with everyone.
“The most important thing Soldiers can take away from Safety Day is the fact that even with the chain of command stressing safety, they themselves are responsible for their safety and the safety of the people around them,” said Kolhof.”
Spc. Paul Jacobson, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 3d U.S. Inf. Regt., has been in the Army for almost 5 years, and got the most out of Dominion Energy’s electrical safety class.
“It helped bring awareness to things that could seriously harm individuals and we learned how to react to them,” said Jacobson. “It had a lot of good information that a lot of people don’t think about.”
With another Safety Stand Down having come and gone, it’s every leaders hope that the things Soldiers learned today will be put into practice everyday.
“As a leader it is my hope that those who attended Safety Day took away the knowledge needed to prevent injury or death of a civilian, Soldier or family member,” said 1st Sgt. Phillip A. DuRousseau Sr., HHC first sergeant. “One injury or death is one too many especially when they could have been prevented by safe practices.”