News: Air Cav troopers conduct motorcycle mentorship ride, learn about safety
Story by Sgt. 1st Class Joe Armas
FORT HOOD, Texas – More than 30,000 soldiers in the United States Army are registered as motorcycle riders, according to the Army’s Motorcycle Safety Guide. With that fact in mind, the Army has made an effort to emphasize the importance of motorcycle safety to help reduce the number of accidents and injuries that can occur onboard a motorcycle.
Motorcycle safety was the main focus for more than 200 soldiers from the 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, who took part in a mentorship ride Sept. 21, here.
During the ride, the soldiers were joined by professional stunt riders Nick Brocha and Ernie Vigil.
The organizer of the event, Sgt. 1st Class Michael Holliday, the brigade’s senior safety noncommissioned officer and motorcycle mentor, talked about why motorcycle safety should be a priority for all riders.
“Riding a motorcycle provides a sense of freedom on the road and it’s an incredible feeling, but there’s no denying the fact that motorcycles are dangerous,” Holliday said.
“There are numerous aspects of motorcycle safety that soldiers need to know about, so that’s why we’re out here riding as a group today,” Holliday added.
Holliday cited a few events the day centered around; the importance of protective equipment, knowing how to maneuver a motorcycle in the advent of a crash, and overall awareness on the road.
“Ultimately, the main goal is obviously for everyone to stay alive,” Holliday added, who has been riding for 18 years now.
Staff Sgt. Shan Samansky, a platoon sergeant assigned to D Company, 2nd General Support Aviation Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st ACB, has logged roughly 110,000 miles as a motorcycle rider. He said the event gave everyone involved the chance to swap ideas and experiences and ultimately learn from one another.
“Events like this allow us riders to come together as a team,” Samansky said.
“As a group, we got together after the ride and we identified some minor shortcomings that will hopefully allow all of us to improve our skills and become better riders overall,” he added.
Samansky said he thinks that soldiers who ride motorcycles carry a huge responsibility in American society.
“As soldiers, we need to set the example for all riders out there on the road,” Samansky explained. “Our job is to keep America safe, and if we can’t be safe on the roads, then we can’t perform the task that we are ultimately called to do.”