NOVEMBER 14, 2014, CAMP RED CLOUD, South Korea – The 2nd Infantry Division is unveiling its “Think Twice” Campaign in an effort to educate Soldiers and reinforce responsible behavior by the Soldiers across the division.
According to the Gyeonggi Provincial Police Agency, U.S. Soldiers who commit felonies is decreasing. In 2010, there were 100 felony incidents reported to the provincial police involving U.S. Soldiers, with each subsequent year having fewer incidents reportedly committed by U.S. Soldiers. By September 2014, the number of incidents had been reduced over 50 percent.
With over 10,000 Soldiers assigned or attached to the 2nd Infantry Division, less than one percent of them engage in illegal and disruptive activities. However, as guests and partners supporting a 64-year Alliance, the Division wants to reinforce that this kind of behavior is unacceptable.
Command Sgt. Maj. Andrew Spano agrees that while off-duty incidents are on the decline, any number other than zero is too many.
“2nd Infantry Division Soldiers are Army professionals who do not engage in or tolerate acts of misconduct or unethical decisions,” said Spano. “As stewards of an honorable profession, Soldiers must conduct themselves appropriately and hold each other accountable in behavior consistent with Army Values.”
Maj. Gen. Thomas Vandal, Commanding General of 2nd Inf. Div. is emphasizing responsible behavior and encouraging Soldiers to “Think Twice” before making a decision that could negatively impact their careers, the 2nd Inf. Div., and the historic ROK-US Alliance.
“We continue to conduct training at the unit and individual level in an effort to ensure each Soldier understands the importance of our mission, and that individual choices and actions have an impact on the entire ROK-U.S. Alliance,” said Vandal.
At the heart of the campaign is educating each Warrior Soldier about the potential consequences of their actions to themselves, the Alliance, and the unit’s mission.
“The 2nd Infantry Division cooperates fully with the Korean National Police on all reported incidents,” said Lt. Col. Kirk Whittenberger, 2nd Inf.
Div. Provost Marshal and Area I Director of Emergency Services.
Alcohol is a significant contributing factor in many of the acts of indiscipline throughout the Division, according to the Division Provost Marshall’s Office. Over the past year, alcohol was involved in over 70 percent of the reported sexual assaults and more than 50 percent of aggravated assaults.
Not only does the 2nd Inf. Division leadership want to encourage Soldiers to use alcohol responsibly and legally, they want Soldiers to understand the health risks involved with alcohol abuse. According to the 2nd Inf. Div. Surgeon, Lt. Col. Lee Burnett, studies show that drinking more than one alcoholic beverage daily can contribute to multiple health issues, including liver disease, heart disease, and an increased risk for some cancers.
In addition to educating Soldiers about the consequences of excess alcohol consumption, the “Think Twice” campaign encourages activities and community events that expose Soldiers to the rich, cultural experience Korea offers.
“Korea has an amazing history, with so much to see and do. I encourage Soldiers and families to embrace the Korean community and cultural opportunities whenever possible,” Vandal said.
The 2nd Infantry Division is committed to teaching its Soldiers about responsible behavior and reminding them to “Think Twice” about their decisions while out in the local communities.