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You Know the Drill

You Know the Drill


It is zero-dark-thirty on a Saturday morning and you’re starting the car to drive to your weekend drill. As you set your coffee in the cupholder, did you realize you were already on duty? That’s right — as a Soldier in the Army National Guard, your on-duty time includes trips to and from drill. This means when you pull out of the driveway, not only must you obey the driving statutes of your city, municipality and state, but Army Regulation 385-10, The Army Safety Program, has kicked in as well.

So, what does this mean? Here is a summary of things you need to do.

  • Check your vehicle’s mechanical condition before starting your trip. Make sure your tires are in good condition and properly inflated. Lift the hood and inspect your vehicle’s oil, transmission, power steering, power braking and coolant levels. Check your lights, signals, horn and windshield wipers.
  • Clear your windshield, windows and mirrors. Also, take a few moments to adjust your mirrors to eliminate any blind spots.
  • Make sure your direct supervisor knows if you use any prescription or nonprescription medications that could reasonably impair your driving or alertness.
  • Notify your commander of any traffic violations on or off post.
  • Ensure you and all passengers are wearing seat belts.
  • Make sure you — or whoever is driving — is properly rested.
  • Drive safely, observing speed limits and obeying traffic laws.
  • If you’re a passenger, be a battle buddy and help the driver spot any hazards on the road.
  • Don’t drive distracted by talking or texting on your cellphone.

Do you ride a motorcycle to drill? Most of the above safety precautions still apply except for the use of seat belts and certain maintenance items. One key requirement for operating motorcycles is to wear personal protective equipment (PPE) every time you ride. That PPE includes:

  • A Department of Transportation-approved helmet (regardless of state helmet laws)
  • Impact- or shatter-resistant goggles, glasses or shields (must meet or exceed American National Standards Institute Z87.1)
  • Sturdy footwear, leather boots or over-the-ankle shoes  
  • A long-sleeved shirt or jacket, long trousers and full-fingered gloves or mittens
  • A brightly colored outer upper garment (day) or reflective upper garment (night)

Remember, you’re a Soldier from the moment you don your uniform for drill until you take it off at home afterward. Drive safely so you’ll be around for next month’s drill.

  • 18 February 2024
  • Author: USACRC Editor
  • Number of views: 133
  • Comments: 0
Categories: Off-DutyPMV-4