Summer Safety Message: 101 critical days of summer

Image Credit: Stephen Hickok, DCMA Public Affairs.

A message from Col. Glenn K. Dickenson, U.S. Army Garrison Stuttgart commander

Memorial Day weekend marked the beginning of the 101 critical days of summer. Beginning Memorial Day weekend, through Labor Day, countless members of our community will venture outdoors and onto roadways to enjoy the summer weather and time off from work. We must remember fun can come with a tragic price.

Historically, these next three months are the deadliest time of year for off-duty Service Members. Accidents involving privately owned vehicles, privately owned motorcycles, and personal watercraft pose the greatest risk and we must all remain vigilant for ourselves and each other.  I want to take this opportunity to encourage each of you to be safety conscious in all your activities.  Always maintain situational awareness and manage your risks.

The following activities and situations need our special attention:

Driving and Motorcycling:

  • Do not drink and Even one drink is too many!  Always use a designated driver or taxi.
  • Do not text, check email, or post to social media sites while Inattentive driving for a split second can have deadly consequences.
  • Inspect your vehicle or motorcycle prior to leaving to ensure tires, lights, brakes and wipers are in good working
  • Plan your  Do not drive while fatigued and take breaks at least every 2 hours.
  • Drive defensively and avoid excessive Avoid following too closely and remember to adjust speed for road and weather conditions.
  • Motorcyclists must wear the proper personal protective equipment to include: wearing a vest, jacket, upper outer garment, or motorcycle clothing that incorporates fluorescent and highly reflective material. This must be worn at all times when operating or riding as a passenger, on and off post.
  • Motorcyclists should drive  Start slowly and practice your riding skills after the long winter break.

Bicycle riding on an Army installation:

  • During hours of darkness or reduced visibility, bicycles must be equipped with an operable headlight or
  • Riders must wear a reflective upper
  • Riders must wear a Consumer Product Safety Commission approved
  • Wearing headphones, earphones or other listening devices are
  • Riders should yield to traffic when appropriate, obey all traffic laws, and look before

Heat Injuries:

  • Know the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion/stroke and seek immediate medical attention if you experience any of them.  Heat stroke is a serious life threatening condition.
  • Maintain proper hydration by drinking plenty of
  • Always use sunscreen and appropriate clothing to protect against
  • Schedule physical activities, such as PT, during the cooler part of the day when possible

Swimming and Water Safety:

  • Do not drink alcohol and Alcohol is proven to be a contributing factor in many drowning incidents.
  • Swim only in designated and supervised swimming  German lifeguards (Bademeister)  may not always watch the pool but are always there and trained in water rescue and first aid/CPR.   Do not overestimate yourself – never swim when exhausted, overheated or immediately after eating.
  • Parents are responsible for supervising their Never leave a child unsupervised near water.
  • Never swim alone, when exhausted or Always wait 30-45 minutes after eating before swimming to avoid cramps.
  • Inflatable rafts, tubes and mattresses are not suitable flotation Do not rely on them if you are a poor swimmer. Use approved flotation devices.
  • Never jump or dive into unknown Hidden hazards such as shallow water and rocks may not be visible from the surface.


  • Do not grill inside or in enclosed
  • Never leave a grill unattended.
  • Keep children and pets away from
  • Always have a charged fire extinguisher, water source or sand nearby when
  • Do not over use charcoal lighter fluid and never use
  • Inspect gas grills regularly and ensure hoses and valve connections are tight and in good

The Command Team hopes each of you enjoy the upcoming summer months while staying safe and return refreshed, healthy and ready to perform our mission.

Additional information can be found at the following Army Combat Readiness Center websites:

U.S. Army Combat Readiness Safety Facebook Page

2016 Off-Duty Safety Awareness  Presentation 

Contact the Safety Office at DSN: 431-3832.

View the signed Memorandum: Memorial Day and Summer Safety Message_2016