By Rear Adm. John Fuller, Commander, Navy Region Hawaii and Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific
I believe we build partnerships by establishing common ground. The most common of common grounds is how much we all care about our loved ones. We all show it by keeping them safe, within our power to do so.
As we prepare for another school year here in Hawaii, I ask everyone to be extra vigilant and engaged when it comes to safety. I often hear the question, “What keeps you up at night?”
Well, here’s a vision that would increase the quality of everyone’s slumber—seeing drivers slowing down and looking out for pedestrians and obeying traffic rules in housing areas, at crosswalks and near schools and child development centers; and seeing drivers paying attention and choosing to not be distracted by their smart phones, etc.
The Coalition of Sailors Against Destructive Decisions (CSADD) is playing a big role in getting the word out—waving signs on roadsides and offering timely reminders. Great work!
Good leaders show by example. They instill pride, share information and lean forward. They demand excellence. I see all of those qualities in our proactive military and civilian leaders who are taking safety and security seriously no matter where they are.
We re-focus on safety and security every back-to-school season, but, in fact, we need to be energized year-round. See something, say something. Know something, do something. Being vigilant and staying engaged only helps the community if we make a commitment.
Our job and our mission is to protect and defend our nation. We can do that only if we protect ourselves first. Here’s a great life example. Did you ever wonder why airlines ask passengers to secure their oxygen first? You can’t help someone if you are incapacitated yourself.
So, in addition to driving safely, we need to practice good habits off duty, on and off base, especially when we go hiking, swimming or boating—or when operating a motorcycle.
We are in the middle of the 100 days of summer (from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day), a time when most off-duty accidents occur.
Do you have a shipmate or wingman when you go hiking? Do you read and comply with signs on trails and at the beach? Are you making good, responsible choices when consuming alcohol?
One of the saddest days any leader can experience is attending a memorial service with the family and friends of a young person who made an error in judgment and paid with his or her life. A few moments in time can change the course of a lifetime.
Can you tell the kids in your life—sons, daughters, nieces, nephews, brothers and sisters—”I did the right thing”?
Let’s protect our shipmates, our families and our extended ohana. Promote safety and security year-round.