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Raider Ready Reserve engages for safety

Not your ordinary safety stand down day

Soldiers from 4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division's Raider Ready Reserve listen to and speak with a representative from the area's Harley-Davidson shop about the topic of motorcycle safety during Raider Ready and Resilient Day, May 29.

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A healthy mind and body are essential to individual and unit readiness. Soldiers from the 4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division's Raider Ready Reserve stood down for safety, May 29, to improve their performance in dealing with the rigors of a challenging profession.

"This is not an ordinary safety stand down day. Instead of us showing you what not to do, we're going to show you what you could be doing," said Lt. Col. Scott Morris, R3 operations officer, 4th SBCT, 2nd Inf. Div., addressing the Raiders gathered at Evergreen Theater for the start of the event.

With the goal of engaging soldiers and the help of external agencies, the brigade arranged for live demonstrations and activities to make the experience personally interactive. We're trying to do it a little differently this year and avoid "death by PowerPoint," said Morris, setting the stage for the day.

In place of a slide depicting a motorcycle and bullet points on safety, a representative from a local Harley-Davidson shop, shiny motor bike front and center, spoke and answered questions on the topic with the knowledge of an industry professional.

A team from the Crime Prevention Unit on post, in tandem with an officer from the Lakewood Police Department, reinforced a briefing on the subject of drunk driving by administering field sobriety tests with the aid of goggles which simulated an intoxicated state for the wearer.

Soldiers were presented with information and demonstrations about workplace, outdoor recreation and vehicle safety, substance abuse, drunk driving, and safe sex. Delivered by engaging guest speakers, presentations were combined with videos for smooth transition between topics.

At a resiliency fair, the Raiders had the opportunity to speak with representatives from community groups, clubs, and service organizations, discovering healthy and productive activities available in the area. Aside from recreational interests, soldiers were reminded about various counseling and support programs in place for their time of need, empowering them to seek help.

Your mission is to have fun, learn, open your minds, and come away with some new information, said Lt. Col. Jody Miller, R3 commander, 4th SBCT, 2nd Inf. Div.

According to a tri-signed letter introducing the Army's Ready and Resilient Campaign, March 12, the Army remains a highly trained and well-equipped force. A force, however, which has faced numerous challenges such as the stress of combat, illness, injury and strain placed on relationships over the last 12 years of war.

The campaign integrates and synchronizes Army programs aimed at improving physical, psychological and emotional health, enhancing individual and collective resilience in order to improve overall unit readiness.

The 4th SBCT, 2nd Inf. Div. is currently deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. The Raider Ready Reserve is organized, equipped and trained to execute rear detachment operations focused on maintaining soldier, family, training and equipment readiness that instill confidence in forward deployed commanders.

Spc. Reese Von Rogatsz is a journalist with the 4-2 SBCT

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