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On this Independence Day, we celebrate the birth of this nation and the freedoms we hold dear - freedoms that the brave men and women of America's Army protect. I want to thank all of you and your Families for answering the call to serve our nation.
As it was in 1775, our Army today is an all-volunteer force. Your work at the Maneuver Center of Excellence is critical to sustaining the combat effectiveness of our force.
As we commemorate the founding of our great nation, we should also recognize the sacrifices of those who have gone before us. As you enjoy time with Family and friends this weekend, remember our fellow Soldiers and civilians who are serving around the world, especially those serving in combat in Afghanistan.
Commanders and directors will conduct pre-holiday safety briefings, but what is most critical is for everyone to think safety and manage risk. If you are traveling this weekend, plan for increases in traffic and adverse weather. Please recognize and manage risks associated with activities like motorcycling, boating, fireworks, and grilling outdoors. We need you.
Keys to ensuring your safety include:
Arrive Alive. All motorists should wear seatbelts and obey posted speed limits. If you consume alcohol, do not drive. Have a designated driver.
Heat-related injuries. Overexposure to the sun and high temperatures can cause heat-related injuries. If you are planning to be outdoors, drink plenty of water and limit your activities during periods of extreme heat and high humidity.
Water Safety. Know the water, heed adverse weather warnings, swim only in designated areas and never swim alone. When boating, ensure personal floatation devices are available for everyone on board.
Motorcycle Safety. Motorcycle riders should always wear a helmet and other approved motorcycle personal protective equipment.
Plan ahead. All Soldiers traveling outside the Chattahoochee Valley area must complete a Travel Risk Planning System report, available at https://safety.army.mil. Thank you all for everything you do every day for the Maneuver Center of Excellence and for our Army.
One Force, One Fight!
- Maj. Gen. H. R. McMaster Commanding general