JBSA FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas. – Safety is one of the most important aspects of U.S Army Reserve operations. One way units ensure safety is at the forefront of Soldiers minds is to conduct a safety stand-down. Today, members of the 4th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) took some time out for their own safety stand-down, improving their combat readiness.
“A safety stand-down is a block of time where all personal in an organization come together and speak about the current and known safety issues that affect the command,” explained Chief Warrant Officer 4 Wilton Toups, the 4th ESC command chief warrant officer, as personnel made their way out of the unit’s building.
Today’s safety stand-down was called to address a recent message about specific tires on some military vehicles. As Soldiers and Civilians gathered in the unit’s motor pool, Toups addressed the group where he shared the importance of the message.
“So why do we have everyone out here?” asked Toups before he explained the details of the recent message. “No matter where you go, you need to be aware of this because it impacts the entire fleet.”
Toups shared the details of the current concern before everyone in attendance got into groups to help inspect tires.
In the U.S. Army Reserve, stand-downs like this one can be a challenge as most Soldiers are not at their units full-time. 1st Sgt. Thyiest Mosley, the 4th ESC headquarters company first sergeant, said that he recognizes how important it is to make sure all personnel in the unit are aware of messages like the one reviewed today.
“This is something for everyone to be aware of,” said Mosley. “A lot of us here don’t know anything about tires, but from events like this, we can take the information, look at these tires, and make it simple enough for all of us to know what we are looking for. This can save a Soldier’s or Civilian’s life and also prevent damage to equipment.”
As the headquarters first sergeant, Mosley is creative in the way he gets Soldiers involved in checking vehicles and equipment. He said that sometimes you can set up a friendly competition rewarding Soldiers with a simple prize or recognition.
“We want to make it fun for the Soldiers, especially when things seem boring or Soldiers just don’t understand,” said Mosley. “Maybe break into two teams with sets of instructions to find issues with a vehicle. When a Soldier can say they came to battle assembly, had a mission, and they were given credit for the completing that task, it makes them want to do more.”
As the groups began to put their hands on each vehicle in the motor pool Sgt. Michael Whisenhunt, the 4th ESC operations NCO, shared his thoughts on teaching every Soldier the importance of safety and maintenance. He said it can be tough to teach new Soldiers, but it is an important part of being in the Army Reserve.
“Maintenance and safety are never a waste of time, and it is an individual responsibility to check your own vehicle,” said Whisenhunt. “With new folks you just have to preach it to them every single time you get to see them. You take them out to show them individually how it’s done. Safety, safety, safety.”
Safety has been, and will remain a priority in the U.S. Army Reserve, and safety stand-downs are one way to ensure the message gets out to everyone.
“We talk about safety all the time especially at higher levels,” shared Toups, “but it is equally important that we speak about it directly to our personnel and reinforce the importance of everyone knowing the current safety concerns across the organization.”
The 4th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) is made up of Soldiers, civilians and their families in units headquartered throughout Texas, New Mexico, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Louisiana. As part of America’s Army Reserve, these units are trained, combat-ready and equipped to provide military and logistical support in any corner of the globe.
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