FORT BRAGG, N.C. — After a series of accidents due to soldiers falling asleep at the wheel, one battalion is fighting back against sleep deprivation with an informative safety brief at 0430 on Thursday morning.
Lt. Col. Jerry Newman, the commander of First Battalion, 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment, says that the unit won’t rest until the problem is solved. “These driving accidents aren’t something we’re going to take lying down,” Newman commented. “We’re working around the clock to remedy this sleep deprivation.”
Unit leaders have differing opinions on the solution, however. “This is easy to fix,” claimed Sgt. Maj. George Benes of First Battalion. “Just have these morons stop wasting time when they’re off duty. When they could be sleeping, they’re always off ‘rolling on dubs,’ ‘popping bottles in the club,’ and ‘eating dinner.’”
“They’re still living like they’re back on the block where you never had to go to work the next day.”
Newman is more sympathetic. “I scheduled the brief for 0430 on Thursday so the soldiers wouldn’t have to do it at 2200 on Wednesday after their typical work day,” Newman said. “We’re always taking care of soldiers like that.”
Benes says they want soldiers to report a little early, so the briefing won't start late.
“Well, we can’t have them showing up late.” Benes said. “So they’ll arrive before 0200 for accountability.”
Newman does concede that some of the responsibility falls on the soldiers as well.
“If they can’t find eight consecutive hours to sleep between midnight and four in the morning, that’s on them,” Newman said before scooping his pre-workout powder into a can of Monster.
“It’s our job to inform them, though,” he added. “I updated unit policy to specifically prohibit falling asleep at the wheel. Maybe they’ll think twice next time they try catching up on their beauty sleep while driving.”