Senior leaders stress safety this holiday season

The winter holidays provide an opportunity to relax and celebrate with our families and friends. It’s also an opportunity to re-establish a proper work-life balance by enjoying the seasonal festivities and activities.

We work diligently all year to reduce mishaps, and we should not ignore those efforts during the much-deserved break. Sadly, last year we lost five Airmen in off-duty mishaps between Nov. 22 and Jan. 2. 

Every Airman, uniformed and civilian, must take a few minutes to include sound risk management in his or her winter and holiday plans. The same risk management principles that keep us safe on duty are just as effective when traveling and enjoying recreational activities off duty.

Think through every plan and have a backup plan for contingencies. Pay close attention to weather conditions, remain vigilant and maintain proper awareness of your surroundings. Use your training and common sense to do the right thing. If you see someone in need, help them. If you’re the one struggling, make the right choice to seek help from a friend, a supervisor, or a professional.

We are the best Air Force on the planet because of who we are, how we approach challenges, and what we do for our families and fellow Airmen. The Air Force and the nation need very Airman to be ready and available to respond when and where called.

Your family, friends and nation depend on you to make safety a priority in your winter and holiday plans. While enjoying the season, take care of yourself and take care of each other.

— By Deborah Lee James, Secretary of the Air Force

Gen. Mark A. Welsh III, Chief of Staff of the Air Force

Chief Master Sgt. James A. Cody, Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force

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