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October 22, 2010


Safety leader talks about engaged leadership in community

Story & photo by Geneve N. Mankel, Public Affairs Staff

Command Sgt. Maj. Michael Eyer of the U.S. Army Combat Readiness/Safety Center visited Fort McCoy Oct. 4 to present a variety of safety-related topics to the Fort McCoy community.

PHOTO: Command Sgt. Maj. Michael Eyer, U.S. Army Combat Readiness/Safety Center command sergeant major, speaks to McCoy personnel about a variety of safety-related topics. Photo by Geneve N. Mankel
Command Sgt. Maj. Michael Eyer, U.S. Army Combat Readiness/Safety Center command sergeant major, speaks to McCoy personnel about a variety of safety-related topics.

According to Randall Eddy, Installation Safety Manager, Eyer was invited to Fort McCoy by the Regional Training Center-Central to speak to their troops.

The Installation Safety Office assisted in the Command Sergeant Major’s visit and opened up the presentation to the entire post, Eddy said.

Eyer emphasized the importance of engaged leadership, and its effect on preventing off-duty fatalities and accidents.

Off-duty Soldier fatalities for fiscal year 2010 had decreased up to the last week in September when there was an increase.
“What’s not happening is the message is not reaching junior leaders and individual Soldiers,” Eyer said. Although the Army has the finest junior leaders in the military, there is a break during off-duty hours, he said.

Leaders make a difference. “Walk, talk, check, correct; that is the job of an NCO (noncommissioned officer),” Eyer said. “It’s going down to where they (Soldiers) are and talking to them in their environment.”

Peers and Families also have a powerful effect on enforcing safety standards, he said. Soldiers don’t want to disappoint their peers and tend to listen to what their Family members tell them.

In discussing fatalities, Eyer said his organization was most concerned about is accidents because accidents are preventable. “Every 49 hours we are losing a Soldier to an accident,” he said.

Privately owned vehicles continue to be the largest cause of accidents among the force. Seatbelts need to be worn, because they save lives, Eyer said.

Accidents can be prevented by practicing Composite Risk Management. Eyer said, “When we wear our uniform we are very good at composite risk management … what I want you all to do now, is continue thinking of it when you go off duty. We’ve got to make those young Soldiers think Composite Risk Management all the time.”

“Deployments don’t have a big effect when it comes to a lot of the accidents,” Eyer said. “When Soldiers redeploy, 90 to 120 days after redeployment they are most susceptible to accidents.” It’s a good idea for leaders to communicate with redeployed Soldiers during this time, he said.

Eyer encouraged everyone to visit https://safety.army.mil/ to familiarize themselves with the Preliminary Loss Reports section and the Leader’s and Soldier’s corners which have helpful tools to set up training programs such as the BOSS (Better Opportunity for Single Soldiers) Safety Factor.

“There are areas we are weak on,” Eyer said about the information provided by his organization. “We need to be updated by you guys. If there’s something in there that you think that we’re doing wrong or putting out that is not correct or that we’ve missed something you need to let us know.”

After the briefing, Eyer visited Range 29 and participated in a lane event and after-action review (AAR) with Soldiers from the 197th Fires Brigade. During the AAR he briefed the Soldiers on actual accidents occurring in-theater, the importance of training Soldiers as they will fight, conducting rehearsals and performing pre-combat checks on a daily basis, and, most importantly, letting them know that everyone must speak up and correct safety violations.

For more information about safety programs at Fort McCoy, contact the Installation Safety Office at 608-388-3403.

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