FORT LEE, Va. (Aug. 29, 2013) -- Kenner Army Health Clinic hosted a Motorcycle Mentorship Program check ride and safety event on Aug. 15 to promote safe and fun riding. The check ride was prompted by the numerous motorcycle fatalities that have occurred Army-wide during fiscal 2013, two of whom were Fort Lee riders.
Motorcycle incidents kill an average of 44 Soldiers per year, according to the U.S. Army Combat Readiness/Safety Center. For the past two years, Kenner’s Safety Manager Charvetz Scott has diligently worked to establish the Fort Lee Rider’s MMP to lessen this number. The program encourages installation motorcycle mentor communication and stresses the importance of motorcycle mentorship programs to the Fort Lee community.
MMP is an operational link between unit commanders and the riders, focused on improving and sustaining safety. This program and its related events allow experienced riders to mentor new riders through their transition, ensuring that they become safe and disciplined motorcyclists.
This event was a requirement for all KAHC military riders and was considered their place of duty. Eight KAHC staff participated in the event and the only cost was fuel.
The event began at 7 a.m., with a welcome briefing that included an overview of planned events, applicable Army and Fort Lee standards, responsibilities of each rider, proper maintenance and operation checks, situational awareness when operating motorcycles, and the actions of other vehicle operators on the road.
Participants then moved to the Fort Lee motorcycle training facility where Col. Thomas S. Bundt, commander, KAHC, provided a short brief covering group riding safety.
Staff Sgt. Steven Scheie, noncommissioned officer in charge, Department of Behavioral Health, and an MMP mentor, then provided a detailed composite risk management assessment of the check route and conducted additional operational checks.
Riders were given the opportunity to correct minor discrepancies like missing safety equipment or maintenance issues. After a series of skill drills, riding positions were assigned for the check ride.
From there, the KAHC MMP began its first official check ride. The bikers departed from the installation, traveled to Yorktown and back. The group was exposed to several Yorktown and Williamsburg battle sites and scenic locations along the way.
“Retired Army Gen. B. B. Bell said it best in his video ‘Impact the Culture,’ ‘We have to impact the way that they operate, so when we are not there, they will behave the way that they should,’” said Scott. “Our charge as leaders is to have an impact on the culture and behavior of those that we lead.
“Col. Bundt made this very clear with his presence and sincere concern for the Soldiers well-being during the skill drills prior to the group’s departure,” Scott added.
During warm weather, motorcyclists typically take to the roads in increased numbers. It is important for post riders to stay up-to-date on the current regulations and safety measures specific to Fort Lee, as well as keeping a sharp awareness of surroundings while operating a motorcycle.
Fort Lee policy No. 03-08, June 20, 2013, outlines the standards and requirements for motorcycle ownership and operation for all assigned military and civilian personal. Military personnel who wish to operate a motorcycle on post must complete an approved motorcycle safety course and carry their certificate of completion with them while riding.
All Soldiers and civilians must wear proper personal protective equipment when riding on post, to include: helmet, foot protection, eye protection, and protective clothing.
For more information about the KAHC Motorcycle Mentorship Program, visit www.facebook.com/#!/FortLeeRiders.