MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. --
The Marine Corps Exchange Hadnot Point Annex aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune has created a new motorcycle safety section that sells retail gear designed to protect riders and is in keeping with the outlined motorcycle regulations of the Corps.
Riding jackets, boots and other essential safety equipment mandated per Marine Corps Order 5100.19E, which outlines the required personal protective equipment needed to ride aboard Marine Corps installations, is stocked on the shelves of the MCX.
According to the order, individuals and their passengers riding aboard Department of Defense installations must wear DoD recognized helmets with properly fastened under-the-chin straps, full-faced helmets or impact/shatterproof goggles, gloves, and hard-soled shoes with heels that are recommended to cover the ankles. Properly worn long-sleeved shirts and/or rider jackets are also necessary items that are sold at the kiosk, located to the right of the military clothing section inside the annex.
Not only does the kiosk provide protective equipment, it also sells actual motorcycle parts to enhance the performance and safety of the rider and vehicle.
More than 45 Marines lost their lives in motorcycle-related accidents in 2008, making it the highest tolled year ever for Marine Corps motorcycle fatalities. Since then, the Marine Corps has taken an ongoing initiative to reduce this toll, like the enforcement of new regulations and equipment. It was at this point that Marine Corps Community Services decided to develop the idea for a new section devoted entirely to the safety of Camp Lejeune Marines.
“My husband rides on base, so having access to this stuff right off the base’s main road is perfect for him and other Marines,” said Chrissy Brogdon, a military spouse whose husband usually rides several times a week. “When he comes back from Afghanistan, I know this will be the first place he comes for gear.”
The annex offers additional incentives to service members shopping for gear, like an advertisement that encourages riders to complete the base’s motorcycle safety class for a 25 percent off coupon. This 25 percent discount can apply to any of the PPE in the store as long as shoppers can provide their coupon, given by the instructor at the conclusion of the riding course.
“The kiosk is just another way we can make sure our Marines have the latest and greatest safety equipment available,” said George Blalock, store manager at the exchange annex.
Blalock also suggested that using the coupon earned from the Motorcycle Safety Course was an idea developed solely to defray some of the cost of rider safety gear.
The two-day safety course, required for all DoD installation riders, teaches the fundamentals of operating a motorcycle, like braking, clutch manipulation, speed control, cornering and shifting. It is with these fundamental skills and the implementation of proper gear that the Marine Corps has succeeded in lowering motorcycle deaths over the last few years.
“Enforcement of PPE begins at the main gate, when military police officers check for rider decals and the correct gear for the rider and the passenger, who both have to be equipped with proper riding gear,” said Charles Wood, a tactical safety specialist for the Base Safety office.
Though riders in uniform can wear their digital camouflage utilities with the sleeves down, it is preferred for their safety that they use approved rider jackets that can be bought at the exchange.
The kiosk is available during the annex’s regular operating hours, Monday through Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., and Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
For more information about motorcycle proper protective equipment at the Hadnot Point annex, call 451-5030.