MAY 22, 2015, ARLINGTON, Va. – As the summer approaches, the Defense Department is redoubling its efforts to promote safety and emphasize responsibility to all service members and their families, starting with a “Critical Days of Summer” message from Secretary of Defense Ash Carter.
In a memo issued to DOD leaders, Carter said,
“For many of us, summer allows for days away from the office, on leave and time with our family and friends. It also means time on the road, at the beach, and in the country. We all want to ensure our military and civilian personnel, and their families, return home safely from much-needed recreation. Now is a good time to remind all those for whom we are responsible that many recreational environments and activities involve danger and risk.
“Many accidents are preventable, and by having greater risk awareness, avoiding alcohol when driving and boating, and using basic safety equipment such as seatbelts, motorcycle helmets and life preservers we can eliminate these accidents.
“Summer 2014 was one of our safest periods on record, but we still lost 64 service members to accidents between Memorial Day and Labor Day, demonstrating why we must keep talking about safety. We must teach our personnel to learn to mitigate risk and when to say “no” to risky situations.
“As a leader, you have the ability to save lives and prevent needless loss. I urge each of you to again promote safety and personal responsibility in the force and throughout the department. We owe our best efforts to keep our military, civilians and their family members safe.”