Those of you that had the opportunity to attend the Division Change of Command ceremony in January might have noticed something a little unusual. Like most incoming commanders, I left all current policies in effect. However, I also implemented a new policy and made it effective during the change of command ceremony—the Battle Buddy System. Hopefully, by now all 95th DIV Soldiers have read and have seen the Division Battle Buddy System implemented within your units. I want to continue to express the importance of this policy, because I believe in it.
Army Regulation 600-83, Army Health Promotion, defines the Battle Buddy system as “[a] cultural support mechanism in the Army in which two people operate together as a single unit, both for improved functioning and increased safety. Each may be able to prevent the other from becoming a casualty or rescue the other in a crisis.”
Most people may associate the Battle Buddy System with initial entry Soldiers, however I believe this system works at all echelons and even in our lives when not on military duty. Statistics show that the Battle Buddy System helps reduce stress, teaches teamwork, develops a sense of responsibility for fellow Soldiers, and improves safety. The Battle Buddy System reduces sexual assaults, sexual harassment, discrimination, suicides and alcohol related adverse actions.
All of aforementioned situations affect our mental readiness and our combat effectiveness. We serve a very important mission of supporting the Army’s Training and Doctrine Command and producing the most lethal weapon of the United States—the American Soldier. We are the cornerstone of Army readiness, entrusted with the task of preparing new Soldiers to fight and win the nation’s wars. I need the support of every Soldier in implementing this policy. Implementing the Battle Buddy System encourages Soldiers to truly get to know the members within their ranks. I encourage you to get to know your Battle Buddy on a personal level. Inquire about each other’s family, spouse or significant other, children, civilian employment and be able to talk about the current events in each other’s lives.
When Battle Buddies determine that a crisis may be developing, each will have the intestinal fortitude to take action and assist the Buddy until the Solider is in a safe situation and elevate and report the situation if necessary for additional help and resources. As we move into the summer months, we find that Soldiers RST more to attend graduations, summer vacations with family, and much more. This is even more the reason to check in with your Battle Buddies throughout the month. Battle Buddies protect each other’s six and ensure that during their watch nothing bad is going to happen to their Battle Buddy. When at a training event in which your established Battle Buddy is not present, get another one, but don’t forget to check on your Battle Buddy who is not present. Look out for one another and never be afraid to ask for help.
My Battle Buddy is CSM Bryant Potts and I rely on him to protect my six and vice versa. If you have not yet heard about the 95th Division’s Battle Buddy System, get with your first line leader for more information and ask your first line leader to assign you a Battle Buddy if you do not have one.