DARIEN, Illinois –
For the first time ever, the 416th Theater Engineer Command has made a safety history trifecta.
The U. S. Army Reserve Command (USARC), the U.S. Army Forces Command (FORSCOM) and the Department of the Army (DA) have all named the TEC the safety winner in its respective category for fiscal year (FY) 2021.
After being awarded the USARC safety award for outstanding contribution to Army Reserve safety, the 416th TEC won the safety award at the FORSCOM level and then finally up to the DA level, which was announced this summer.
“We have four brigades, and each brigade has a safety person. The brigade’s safety guys do most of the heavy lifting,” said 416th TEC Safety Manager, Richard Flanagan. “We manage at our level, but they do most of the work.”
John Goheen, 416th TEC safety specialist agreed, adding that the rapport safety managers build with leadership across the TEC is essential.
“We have a really good working relationship with our brigade safeties. They are the best in the Army – period,” Goheen said. “They’re really good at what they do and have built good relationships with brigade and battalion commanders.”
To be considered for an award, individuals and organizations must have made significant improvements and contributions to mishap prevention, among other criteria, during the previous fiscal year, according to Army Regulation 385-10, The Army Safety Program, and Department of the Army Pamphlet 385-10, Army Safety Program.
The 416th TEC has a proven track record, having received at least one safety award in FY2004, FY2005, FY2012-2017 and then also in FY2019-2020.
However, the numbers may lie here a little, according to Flanagan, as the TEC has technically won a safety award for the past decade. “We won for the last 10 years in a row, as they did not have one in 2018, but we submitted,” he said.
Out of 53 total nominations received, 17 winners were selected by the DA awards review board, with the 416th TEC coming up on top to round out a decade of safety improvements.
“You should all be proud of the momentum you’ve help create with our loss prevention and risk management programs and initiatives over the past years,” said the Director of Army Safety and Commanding General of the U.S. Army Combat Readiness Center, Brig. Gen. Gene D. Meredith in a letter announcing the winners of the “Secretary of the Army and Army Chief of Staff Awards of Excellence in Safety for fiscal year 2021” during the summer of 2022. “I can say with sincere confidence that your contributions, commitment and dedication serve as the institutional framework for loss prevention.”
Now with FY22 waning, the 416th TEC has their sights set on keeping that streak alive into its eleventh year. Safety first!