MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. -- Marines and sailors a part of Headquarters and Support Battalion here will be receiving extra support to – Arrive Alive.
As part of the battalions continued effort to promote the Arrive Alive program, signs have been posted in key locations throughout the company barracks and battalion buildings to reinforce the use of the program, said Col. David R. Leppelmeier, commanding officer of Headquarters and Support Battalion, Marine Corps Base.
“It’s important to keep it in the Marines’ heads that there are options available when you’ve been drinking and need a way home,” said Leppelmeier.
The signs are just one way the battalion is promoting the program, added Leppelmeier. “We’re getting the cards behind the bars out in town so the bartenders can pass them out.”
With more than 1,000 cards given out this month alone, the word is getting out and spreading to Marines and Sailors other than in Hq and Spt. Bn., said Leppelmeier. “We had six division Marines use it last month alone, and we encourage anyone who is out in town with no way back to use this program.”
The program provides a card to Marines and sailors, who have been drinking, that lists cab companies that will take the Marine back to base and deliver them to the battalion, in Bldg 60, where the officer of the day will provide payment of the fare, from a base fund, said Sgt. David Edger, logistics chief for the battalion.
"It's about a young guy having an option after consuming alcohol, running out of money or having their designated driver become the 'least drunk driver' to get back to the base safely," said Leppelmeier.
The fund of $160, enough money for a cab ride back from Wilmington or Moorehead City was created from donations from staff noncommissioned officers and officers.
This is not a free ride, explains Edger. Marines are expected to pay back the OOD no later than three days after use.
Measuring the success of the program was the lack of any significant alcohol related incidents over the holiday liberty periods of Marines or sailors in the battalion, said Leppelmeier.
“I think what we’re doing is working and if I get one Marine back with this it’s worth all of the effort,” concluded Leppelmeier.