News: ‘Safety first, safety always’ highlights campaign
Story by 1st Lt. Jean-Scott Dodd
OKINAWA, Japan - III Marine Expeditionary Force has initiated the “Safety first, safety always” campaign to highlight continuous, proactive safety programs throughout III MEF and Marine Corps Installations Pacific.
The campaign is not a one-time event but instead is a showcase for the various safety initiatives and accomplishments of III MEF, its major subordinate commands and MCIPAC, according to Jim Maldonado, safety officer, III MEF.
“The scope of this campaign highlights our past and continued safety efforts in all III MEF and MCIPAC activities. We’ve evolved into a culture of safety that continually looks at processes and programs that improve our safety posture more and more,” said Maldonado.
“Safety first, safety always” looks to focus on how the Marine Corps’ safety programs positively affect not just Marines and civilian personnel, but the host country as well, according to Maldonado.
“We realize the importance of developing and maintaining trust with our Okinawan neighbors,” said Maldonado. “We never forget that we conduct all operations in the public view. We’re proud to display our skills and ultimately communicate our dedication to duty and our support of the defense of all residents of Japan.”
The campaign’s goal is to emphasize the training and safety programs III MEF and MCIPAC units routinely conduct, as well as special events and mission-specific training, according to Maldonado.
“As an example, on July 17, III MEF mandated that all of its units conduct a safety stand-down by Aug. 31,” said Maldonado. “The purpose of this safety stand-down is to have all units pause and reflect on key safety issues that directly impact our presence here in Japan. Two specific topics included the safe operation of tactical vehicles on and off base and safe, professional personal conduct at work and on liberty.”
An important part of the campaign is to focus on III MEF and MCIPAC’s safety programs pertaining all personnel and family members away from work.
“We enjoy all the recreational opportunities Okinawa has to offer,” said Maldonado. “The importance of conducting ourselves in a safe, respectful manner in the eyes of our hosts is the central concept behind the implementation of programs such as our liberty campaign plan, Okinawa cultural awareness training and our newcomer’s orientation.”
“Safety first, safety always” will put the spotlight on safety initiatives and continued dedication to ensuring Marines, civilians and their dependents on Okinawa are responsible members of the community.
“We will continue to focus on further improving our safety efforts with this campaign and other proactive initiatives,” said Maldonado. “We value the trust of our Okinawan partners, and their safety will always be our top priority. We are part of a family oriented community. A safe community not only benefits our personnel, but our local community too.”