News: Safety first 101st Brigade Support Battalion leads the way in safety
Story by Spc. Andrew Ingram
CONTINGENCY OPERATING SITE WARRIOR, Iraq – Soldiers of 101st Brigade Support Battalion, 1st Advise and Assist Task Force, 1st Infantry Division from Fort Riley, Kan., were awarded the Safety Excellence streamer during a presentation ceremony at Contingency Operating Site Warrior, May 7.
The 101st BSB is currently the only battalion in U.S. Division-North and the first battalion in 1st Inf. Div. to win the streamer since the award’s establishment in June 2009, said Mr. Rusty Gaither, safety and occupational health manager, 1st AATF.
“This is a big honor for the battalion to receive this recognition,” said Lt. Col. Brandon Grubbs, 101st BSB Commander. “The credit goes fully to the soldiers and leaders who have remained focused on safety and have spent long hours conducting online Composite Risk Management training as well as assessing risks for every mission.”
“Guardians” Battalion soldiers earned the award after recently completing 12 consecutive months without experiencing a serious soldier or unit incident. Additionally, every soldier in the unit completed CRM training, along with the Army Readiness Assessment Program, to remain current within the program’s annual requirements.
“Receiving this recognition is incredible and an honor for all of us,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Jeffrey Adams, 101st BSB’s senior enlisted advisor, and a native of Dumas, Texas. “I believe that setting the example and enforcing strict discipline and standards by all leaders made the difference.”
Grubbs said upon taking command and learning about the ARAP, he knew it would require a strong effort by his unit to achieve the honor.
“There are so many different programs out there, but this one gave me a good picture as to what our strengths and weaknesses were,” said Grubbs, a native of Bakersfield, Calif. “I would be remiss if I didn’t give thanks to our brigade safety officer, Mr. Rusty Gaither, who has done a fantastic job.”
Safety officers work full time with brigades to ensure commanders remain current on programs like ARAP and guarantee units meet safety standards.
“The Guardians award represents more than just meeting the eligibility requirements to receive it,” said Gaither, a Porum, Okla., native. “It is proof that their entire unit leadership has engaged their soldiers and stressed and enforced the importance of safety standards. The streamer is also evidence that a safety culture exists in that unit. It is proof of personal ‘buy-in’ of the Army Safety Program by every single soldier in that unit.”
Guardians soldiers continued demonstrating good safety practices and adhered to battalion safety standards after the ceremony ended and soldiers returned to their duties.
Spc. Daniel Juliao, a water treatment specialist from Katy, Texas, assigned to Company A, 101st BSB, proceeded to one of the unit’s many motor pools in order to prepare his vehicle for a mission.
Before entering the staging area, Juliao donned his safety gear: a helmet, gloves, reflective belt and eye protection.
“We all have been practicing using proper protective procedures,” said Juliao. “Safety means everyone comes home. We’re all in a rush to go home, and if that means slowing down would make sure everyone leaves safely, then we will do that.”