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March 12, 2010

Safety

Motorcycle mentorship meeting March 23

Fort McCoy’s motorcycle mentorship program (MMP) has reached a crossroads. A decision needs to be made about whether the MMP will continue being aligned with the Better Opportunities for Single Soldier (BOSS) program or break away and function as a separate, voluntary organization, said Garrison Command Sergeant Major Command Sgt. Maj. William T. Bissonette Jr.

A meeting has been scheduled from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Tuesday, March 23 at McCoy’s, building 1571 to discuss the program’s future. Anyone in the Fort McCoy community who is interested in promoting safe motorcycle riding is welcome to attend.

“The Patriot Warrior Riders program was formed at Fort McCoy in February 2007 under (then) Garrison Command Sergeant Major (M. Kevin) Dubois to meet the Army’s requirement to have motorcycle mentorship on the installation,” Bissonette said. “The purpose of the MMP is to establish an installation-level club where less-experienced riders — who are defined as those motorcycle riders with less than one year of experience — are matched with seasoned riders. Seasoned riders can create a supportive environment of responsible motorcycling and enjoyment.”

Mentorship can act as a force multiplier. Bissonette said the relationship can develop the correct skills in less-experienced riders while ensuring the experienced riders focus on and maintain their skills.

Fort McCoy’s Patriot Warrior Riders program, along with other Army programs/clubs, was formed to address the issue of the increasing rate of Army motorcycle accidents/fatalities, Bissonette said.

While the Patriot Warrior Riders program was formed to be an overall umbrella of the installation’s efforts to make motorcycling safer, Bissonette said the organization also allowed for the formation of subgroups to address the specific needs of its members.

The MMP was aligned with BOSS because it provided leadership to organize and financially support events, he said. However, BOSS has restrictive membership rules, which exclude civilians, married personnel, etc.

“Having a motorcycle club would better align Fort McCoy with installations that have motorcycle clubs, so that no matter where people go they will find the same programs and services,” he said.

The requirements for riding motorcycles on the installation are unchanged, Bissonette said. This includes completing required training and wearing proper clothing and safety equipment. Bissonette said members involved in the MMP agree to wear the recommended clothing and equipment at all times, whether or not it is mandated by local laws off the installation.

For more information about the MMP meeting, contact Bissonette at 608-388-3605.

(See related story.)

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