News: Summer brings new hazard to Iraq
Story by Sgt. Shantelle Campbell
TIKRIT, Iraq – Even though the National Safety Council has designated June for National Safety Month, the Army recognizes safety year-around.
As the hot summer sun heats the desert, leaders in the “Dragon Brigade” believe that keeping Soldiers safe is the top priority.
Staff Sergeant Fernando Guerrero, a medic in the personal security detachment platoon, with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division is one such leader.
“As a medic, safety is number one to me because if a Soldier gets hurt then that’s one less person in the fight,” said the Brownsville, Texas, native.
According to Guerrero, ways to beat the rising temperatures are to wear the proper SPF of sunscreen, drink plenty of water and stay away from energy drinks.
“We have to do a lot of (physical training) while we’re here,” he said, “despite the weather and the temperatures. So, (Soldiers) have to make sure they’re drinking enough water.”
He also said that Soldiers should be cautious about the type and amount of supplements they take because supplements with creatine can potentially raise the level of metabolism, causing the body to burn more calories and heat up because of thermogenics. He says combining these types of supplements with the summer heat, physical activity, and little water can render fatal results.
Eric Washington of Lexington, Ky., the brigade’s safety program manager, believes Soldiers are the Army’s most valuable assets and says providing them with information is the first step to risk mitigation.
“Armed with accurate information, I know that most people will do the right thing,” said Washington. “I think what makes our Army the best Army in the world is its people and their ability to take information and use it in a good medium.”
For more information about ways to remain safe all year, please visit the U.S. Army Combat Readiness and Safety Center Web site at www.safety.army.mil.