NORFOLK, Va. –
Warm days of summer come with unique risks. To help reduce the likelihood of mishaps, injuries or worse – loss of life – the Naval Safety Command (NAVSAFECOM) will launch its annual “101 Critical Days of Summer” safety awareness campaign May 26 to Sept. 4.
The 101 Critical Days of Summer is the longest vacation period of the year for military members, beginning Memorial Day weekend and ending Labor Day weekend. It includes four holidays, which commands frequently approve as long weekends for uniformed personnel.
In the spirit of the Navy’s Get Real, Get Better call to action, this year’s campaign aims to empower Sailors and Marines to self-assess and self-correct risks related to summertime off-duty recreational activities.
“Everyone from the Navy’s newest accessions to its senior leaders should embrace a safety mindset that commits to educating about risk and understanding the behaviors that lead to mishaps,” said NAVSAFECOM Command Master Chief, CMDCM (AW/SW) Dean Sonnenberg. “We all have an obligation to speak up if someone appears ready to make an ill-fated decision or engage in risky behavior.”
According to NAVSAFECOM data, the root causes of almost all off-duty mishaps in the summer are from lapses of judgment, lack of situational awareness and complacency.
Most off-duty, recreational mishaps are entirely preventable. These mishaps are avoidable if service members perform a reasonable risk assessment and comply with laws, procedures or recommended best practices when engaging in any activity.
During the 2022 101 Critical Days of Summer period, the Navy and Marine Corps lost 29 Sailors and Marines to preventable off-duty mishaps. Motor vehicle and motorcycle (PMV-4 and PMV-2) mishaps were the leading causes. Of the 29 members lost, 19 died in PMV-4- and PMV-2-related incidents. Two were pedestrian related. Another person drowned.
Aside from PMV-4 and PMV-2 mishaps, the top activities that hurt us the most were team sports (basketball incurred the most, followed by baseball), in the home (cuts, trips, falls, cooking and lifting and moving objects), outdoors (hiking, walking, swimming, camping, diving and boating), individual physical training (mainly while running and weightlifting), bicycles, stairs and dogs.
“Everyone should get out and enjoy their summer, because that time off improves our resiliency and sharpens our readiness,” Sonnenberg said. “But remember to manage your risk.”
Throughout the summer campaign, NAVSAFECOM will promote and disseminate various media and training products to inform the naval enterprise on common risks associated with summertime activities, including a comprehensive 101 Critical Days of Summer presentation (now available), downloadable posters, articles, safety awareness dispatches and videos via its official website and social media channels.
Commands are encouraged to submit locally produced photos, videos, posters and other multimedia products in support of the 101 Critical Days of Summer. Inputs should be sent to the Naval Safety Command at email@example.com
For additional resources on safety awareness, visit NAVSAFECOM’s website, https://navalsafetycommand.navy.mil
2023 101 Critical Days of Summer Resources:
2023 101 Critical Days of Summer Presentation
(multiple formats and file sizes)
Safety Awareness Dispatch – The “Summery” of Mishaps
ALSAFE Message 23-012 – 2023 101 Critical Days of Summer