Marines

Critical Days of summer training strikes Lejeune

25 May 2005 | Lance Cpl. Matthew K. Hacker

Personnel from the Naval Safety Center and Headquarters Marine Corps visited Camp Lejeune May 16 – 20 to give their Critical Days of Summer brief.

The Critical Days of Summer presentations, targeted at officers and senior enlisted Marines, provided safety tools proven effective in enabling supervisors to deal with motor vehicle, recreation and off-duty safety concerns.The brief targeted senior personnel including enlisted Marines E-6 and above and commanding, executive and field-grade officers.

“Our purpose was to re-energize the commands out in the Fleet Marine Corps and get them geared up for things that kill Marines in the summer months,” said Capt. Enrico Hunter, mishap investigator, Headquarters Marine Corps Safety Division, Naval Safety Center.

Motor vehicle mishaps have taken the lives of 164 Marines and 214 sailors between the years of 2002 and 2004, and recreational accidents have claimed 34 Marines and 63 Sailors’ lives during the period, according to the Naval Safety Center.

Marines and Sailors between the ages of 18 and 26 are primarily involved in those statistics. The activities and factors claiming the most lives include water sports, drowning, not using seatbelts, excessive speeding while driving, alcohol use and fatigue.

Hunter, who gave the brief to senior personnel here attempting to increase their awareness of the over abundance of fatalities in the upcoming months, explained that on-site safety surveys, ideas from other commands and creating partnerships with tenant commands are good ways to start with mishap prevention.

“This is a priority for the [HQMC] Safety Division and the Naval Safety Center, because the summer is the time the Navy and Marine Corps lose more people than any other time of year,” said Hunter. “We want to heighten the commands of the facts so they can get it across to their Marines and sailors, to hopefully lower the mishaps rates for the summer.”

Not only can the brief be passed on to junior Marines through leadership and lecture form, there are new multi-media outlets available as well.

“We also put out two new [Digital Video Disc] movies, which are safety brief movies, so the commands would have some new multi-media to use for their safety stand downs this summer,” said Hunter. “It helps the commands get focused.”

“We didn’t reinvent the wheel here, we just tried to heighten awareness and re-energize the command,” Hunter said. “The Safety Center visited every single stateside Marine Corps installation to get these points across, that’s how important it is.”

For more information pertaining to Navy / Marine Corps safety programs and initiatives visit the Naval Safety Center on the Web at www.safetycenter.navy.mil.