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Old 03-02-2008, 03:40 PM   #46
PacWestGS
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Quote:
Originally Posted by espacef1fan
This makes sense and might even work. Therefore the military(and Army in particular) will never adopt it.

*SNIP*

I'm stopping before I start cussing. I hate senior leadership in the Army with a passion. Cover their own ass and get promoted....that is their interest.

*CUT*
I'm not defending those stupid policy decisions that get made,,, and get even tougher when deployed, but it's not about getting promoted or covering your ass, it is about keeping your job and a life long investment in your career.

When you have been in for awhile longer, thank some old crusty bastard for standing up when the "brass" makes those stupid policy decisions that infringe upon your freedoms.

I guess I'm just one of those crusty old bastards in the senior leadership, that fought for my 21 years so you could still ride a motorcycle on base today. (Many battles were waged over the years on your behalf, some lost, some won, but you are still allowed to ride - even though the hoops of stupidity keep getting smaller and more restrictive)

It now your turn to keep up the good fight espacef1fan and other young bucks, my days are over... Keep the torch lit!
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Old 03-02-2008, 04:22 PM   #47
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Some of the Iraq policy I was referring to.

For example when I was in Ramadi..They literally told us not to worry about VBIEDs because they "won't happen" because the city is too secure.....

Then they wanted to talk to US about being complacent...WTF?????????


As far as the senior leadership..I was reffering to "the brass" You know like Division CG and SGMs and up....

I've had relatively good experie3nces from everyone Brigade level and down..However I also feel most people above BN level have little to no grasp of reality as it really is...especially on deployments...


RANT off..lol
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Old 03-05-2008, 06:43 PM   #48
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Thank you for your service

To all our vets and currently serving military: I salute you. I wiish that salute form me was worth more that the effort it took to type it. But, at least it is heartfelt.

It seems to me that the military knows better than any other organization i am aware of that when the schiesse hits the swamp cooler, one reverts to "training". That is why, or at least i think that is why, they train constantly: so the reaction under stress will be automatic, instinctive, involuntary (at least almost involuntary)

If ones reactions under stress can be "trained" then why wouldn't one naturally progress to the idea that training for MCs prepares a rider for the "the worst" just as training for combat does so (to the extent that it can)?
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Old 03-06-2008, 09:18 AM   #49
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It's NOT a Democracy!

I understand the dilemma here, and see both sides of the argument- but one thing must be remembered: The military is NOT a democracy!

What I mean by that is that ALL who enter military service (voluntarily) are subject to the rules and regulations stated. As an aviator during my 23 years and 6 months of active duty I realized that the gov't had spent a great deal of $ to train my dumb ass and have me available when needed.

Yes I rode motorcycles, and I went to the annual MSF courses as required, and I got STUPID as hell just like every other young/dumb/full o'cum dummy that ever put on a uniform. I was lucky in all reality that I survived (in spite of what I did to myself). I (as many others) was "10 feet tall and bullet proof" in my youth.

I guess what I am eluding to is that the government has some rights to protect their investment. They also have the right to tell you that you cannot drive with an alcohol level above a certain level and so on...

It's a difficult situation but in today's deal - it's voluntary!

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Old 03-06-2008, 10:38 AM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bugnut
The problem as I see it is not the skills taught at the courses, but the mental maturity of the individual. I can't tell you how many times I have seen a rider stop just outside the base (s), take off their helmet and reflective vest and BDU shirt, and cruise home. Coming into work is a laugh too. They all stop about a block away, put on all the gear and ride in. That mentality is what kills a "rider". It's not cool to ride with a helmet and visual aides. Mike
Bingo! you hit the problem dead-center; lack of maturity.

Lack of Maturity coupled with occasional Peer Pressure causes people to do stupid things they wouldn't normally do, and know its wrong before they do it anyway.

Not wearing proper riding gear, not using seat belts, running stop signs when no one's around, riding bikes that far exceed their abilities, riding roads at speeds they are not ready for is lack of maturity sometimes in the presence of peer pressure.

Lack of maturity and peer can seriously injure or kill you. As an MSF instructor and 27 year vet, I have seen too much of this sort of thing over the years. I have had more than my share of it here in the Safety Office.

Look at these statistics for Navy/Marine Corps for Fiscal Year 08 (Oct-Oct). The list has been filtered for just motorcycles. The statistics don't tell the stories that lead up to the crashes, just the crash cause itself. Not all of these deaths were the fault of the rider, but reading them makes you wonder about what is really going on "out there".

Traffic Death Updates -- FY08

Feb. 17 -- An EM3 from SUBRON 11 was killed when he crashed his motorcycle into a van in San Diego.
Feb. 15 -- A gunnery sergeant from 1st MLG/7th ESB was killed in a motorcycle accident in Oceanside, Calif.
Feb. 7 -- A UT3 from NMCB 7 was a passenger on motorcycle in Gulfport, Miss. She was killed when she fell off.
Feb. 5 -- A sergeant from 12th MCD/RSS Montebello was killed when a delivery truck pulled out in front of his motorcycle in South El Monte, California.
Jan. 26 -- A midshipman second class was killed when he crashed his motorcycle into a cement barrier near Gaithersburg, Md.
Dec. 23 -- An AW2 from VP-16 was killed when he crashed his motorcycle into the rear of a van in Jacksonville, Fla.
Dec. 15 -- A CE2 from NMCB 17 was killed when he tried to pass two vehicles on a shoulder in Santa Clarita, Calif. He lost control of his motorcycle and went over a cliff.
Dec. 12 -- An ATCS attached to Fleet Readiness Center Southeast suffered fatal injuries when a car cut in front of his motorcycle in Jacksonville, Fla.
Nov. 28 -- At 0630, a corporal from VMFA-112 was killed when his motorcycle ran into the back of a tractor-trailer that had slowed down to make a turn. The Marine was on his way to work near Fort Worth, Texas.
Nov. 25 -- A 23-year-old E-5 from USS Stennis suffered fatal injuries in a motorcycle wreck in Bremerton, Wash. His spouse was following in her car and witnessed the crash.
Nov. 21 -- A lance corporal from VMFA-121 was riding in a group and suffered fatal injuries when he lost control of his motorcycle and slammed into a telephone pole.
Oct. 28 -- Around 0200 in Dahlgren, Va., a BM2 and his spouse were riding a motorcycle on base, going about 75 mph in a 35 mph zone. Both occupants were ejected when the BM2 lost control at a sharp turn and crashed into a ditch.
Oct. 21 -- An AO2 from NAVCRUITDIST Atlanta was killed when he lost control of his motorcycle and hit a utility pole. Also, at 0320, a lance corporal from HMT-302 was speeding on his motorcycle in Jacksonville, N.C. He lost control on a curve and collided with a post. BAC of .201, no helmet. Injuries proved fatal on Oct. 26.
Oct. 17 -- A lance corporal from MEF G-4 was speeding on his motorcycle near Vista, Calif. He lost control and was killed when he hit a pole.
Oct. 13 -- An HM2 from IMEF/TEG/ATG was killed when he ran his motorcycle into the back of an SUV in Pauma Valley, Calif. He was ejected into the backseat of the SUV.
Oct. 4 -- A lance corporal from SOI WEST was killed when he hit guardrail and was ejected from his motorcycle on an interstate on-ramp in San Diego.


Mentorship is a great tool to reduce some of the stupidness that goes on out there before the crash. This applies to both auto and motorcycle alike, and it has to come from all of us, not the brass or upper ranks (Peer Pressure). If you see someone taking off or putting on gear just outside the gate, what are you going to do about it? Nothing? Then don't whine when some day the CG tells you to park your bike outside the gate and walk in. I, for one, am not afraid to speak up and defend my priviledges.

Training, group rides, events, interaction. Get out there and make a difference.

Terri
Naval Base Ventura County
Motorcycle Program Coordinator
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Old 03-08-2008, 04:48 AM   #51
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I should write a book....

about the things my junior sailors do. As the Executive Officer, I see just about everything you can imagine when it comes to the behavior of our young service members. The bottom line is that this issue shows up every spring, just like the drunk driving lectures before every 3 day weekend and the dicussions about safe trip planning when the guys want to drive from Groton, Ct to Alabama in 18 hours. It's just something we have to train our personnel on and teach them how to make the correct decisions.

If we start taking away their ability to do things like ride motorcycles, they will take away our ability to fight wars by not enlisting.
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Old 03-08-2008, 05:23 PM   #52
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New rider here (got my permit yesterday), but I have near 7 years in the Navy now.

Something that has been said here, but I think bears saying again, is this: Why are all these people so quick to take away the rights of the men and women who fight for those rights? My fiancee is a Japanese national, and she abhors the military for this. We give up so many things that civilians take for granted on a daily basis, yet the push to take more away never seems to end. I understand that it's the 90/10 rule (90% of the problems caused by 10%of the people), and I am very familiar with the knee-jerk reaction that this causes.

Ok, now to on-topic. I've been an advocate of mandatory driving schools for automobiles for years, and I think that applies even more for motorcycles. The european limited bikes are also a very good idea, especially as some of those need only a kit to upgrade to full power at the end of the required time (though easier to illegally do too earlier, also extends the purchase). All the people that I have known that got in accidents on motorcycles did so shortly after getting their first bike (invariably something they wouldn't "grow out of", aka a GSX-R 600/750/1000/1300, etc). I personally chose a Kawasaki Ninja 250, but more out of fear for my life than prudence, I suspect. I do think that anything that the military is required to do should be required of civilians, but I'm betting that some of the very people all for the military members having to do it would scream bloody murder at that.

Anyhow, My current command is very friendly to motorcycle riders, in a positive leadership fashion. My DivO (a CWO4) is an avid motorcycle rider (owns 3 or 4, seen him drive to work in a car once in 2 years, and that was to bring a BBQ or some such), and is all for riding. He, however, is avid on the safety aspect. Our base only requires the "parking lot" MSF course, and I do wish it required more. I'm looking forward to taking the course, myself, and will be pursuing any other courses I can take over the next few months, until I deploy.

In all honestly, regardless of rules and regulations to the contrary, most of the people who bought those bikes would have done so and just never brought them on base, or gotten even the minimal training that IS currently required. In other words, banning them would make the problem worse, not better. The OP has the right idea, we (as both the military, and as civilians), do need better driver/rider certification (for both autos and motorcycles).

As for what to do on base, I like the idea of multiple graduated MSF courses. The MWR sponsored riding schools is also an awesome idea. If you can get these implemented, I salute you!
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Old 03-08-2008, 07:10 PM   #53
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Training is A Right Answer -- but it costs money and the military doesn't have any to spare, at least at the troop level. In addition to dollars, it also takes time -- another rarity. I tried for months to schedule a 1-day MSF course with my guys and the best I could do was book one course with 2 of us. Ops tempo simply kept overriding our ability to deconflict schedules.
Extra (non-mission related) training will not likely get priority. Riders are the only ones advocating training -- and riders, while considered The Experts, are perceived as The Problem. MSF is gov't sanctioned, so in the safetycrats' view it's an appropriate square-filler.

That leaves Regulations to limit access or ridership, such as tiered licensing, limits on displacement and/or horsepower, age, rank, etc. Not as effective as Training -- but it's free and easier to enforce. The unintended effect of stiffer Regs, however, is an increase in the Closet Rider population -- troops who keep unregistered bikes off-base unbeknownst to their leadership.

If my attachment takes (first attempt at this), you'll see 2004's comparison of national stats vs. 2000-2005's Air Force stats. Note that 75% of the reported Air Force mishaps take place among our youngest enlisted folks (E-1 to E-4) -- who account for about 40% of the USAF population. Given these stats, I'd argue they're the target.

Edit: Atch no worky )-:
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Old 03-08-2008, 07:37 PM   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShaftEd
Here's what Jason Pridmore did last year for military riders. Awesome, there should be more if it available:

OCTOBER 31 2007 JASON PRIDMORE’S STAR MOTORCYLE SCHOOL WOULD LIKE TO THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE BY OFFERING A FREE ONE DAY CLASS AT THE NATION’S TOP RATED RIDING SCHOOL AT WILLOW SPRINGS INT’L RACEWAY’S STREETS OF WILLOW

...snipped...
I like it. I'd rather focus on crash prevention than some arbitrary standard of "safety" (to act without risk !!). I've heard of a few installations getting Lee Parks Total Control. Great idea...but I'd want to include the 90% of riders who ride cruisers (and more apt to wear little gear IMHO).

Thanks for the comments!
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Old 03-08-2008, 07:42 PM   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dogtired
Why not implement the following for EVERYBODY:

1) The registration of the street-ridden motorcycle cannot be completed unless the assigned buyer shows proof of completing his/her DMV test and basic MSF course.

2) Utilize the tiered licensing system of other countries

3) The buyer is entitled to a one-day trackday class that is included with the purchase of a motorcycle. This would be a win-win for everybody; the riders for safety and longesvity, the schools for profit, the manufacturers for the sake of the motorcycle industry. The schools would have to meet stringent standards so that it doesn't become the joke that some so-called "traffic schools" are.


We'd have to iron out the logistics of what to do with the license motorcyclists who have been operating motorcycles prior to these new requirements.
# 1 is already mandatory. #2 is not within the purview of the military establishment i.e. no beaurocracy established to oversee such a program. Not enough money to do on anyway...besides, it could only be enforce ON BASE...most crashes happen OFF BASE.

#3 is great...but most non-sportbike riders would not attend such a course.

Thanks for the input!
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Old 03-08-2008, 07:49 PM   #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dwoodward
I don't think telling GIs they can't ride will help. My parents expressly forbid me from motorcycles. I just kept mine at a friend's (read: "off base".)

Likewise, I'm not convinced a size limit, alone, will help. It just delays the date that the GI will get onto a high-HP bike they're unprepared to ride.

Attitude is key. Commanders don't send their people into combat without the best training and gear. GIs need to come to the attitude that they can get just as dead on a bike. Until they internalize the attitude that training and gear are important, the problem won't get better.

So here are some thoughts...

1) Immediately raise the skill testing expectations. I've seen how sloppy someone can ride and still pass the standard MSF test. I'd expect a modern, fit soldier to be able to do better, and in my experience when I've had them in classes, they usually do, if you push them just a little.

2) Apply 1) to their own bike, not a 200cc training bike. If they get a new bike, they have to pass the basic skill test again on the new bike. If they can't, they can take the basic class until they do.

3) Given 2, an ERC isn't enough. They've already done that (From what I've heard, the current ERC exercises are mostly lifted from the BRC.) Look for another level- maybe Lee Parks' ARC, or something like Team Oregon's ART- a class that has more focus on bike control and/or actual road technique.

4) Require ongoing training. Pass the basic class, then they need to take the next class within X time period.

5) Find out where the accidents / fatalities are really happening. Wearing visibility gear is a bit of a panacea, if the problem is "too fast for conditions". I could see where it may be helpful on base, but out in the twisties, it's only useful for finding the body.

6) apply 5) to 4). If the problem is speed, let trackdays count as training so they can get it out of their system, and find a provider that can work the safety angle. (CLASS comes to mind). If the problem is
cornering, something Team Oregon's ART, which focuses on technique without getting into warp-speed conditions.

In any case, I think it still comes back to attitude. They have to want to be safer.
You and I think alike! There's a few folks who are dead-set on buying small-bore "training" bikes for GI's to train on. For regular, non-military folks that is a great idea...but most GI's are a little more coordinated than the civilians (YMMV). I've taught the BRC when folks use their own bikes (ZX11, Road King, CBR, DR, etc.)...yeah, there were some tears shed in those classes moreso than the civilian classes I've taught where the bike (125/250cc) was provided but I really believe than the GI's who learned basic skills on their streetbike were better off from the get go than the folks who wobbled around on a Honda CB125T. Just my anecdotal experience.

I want to be sure that ALL riders are included...cruisers, dual-purpose, sportbikes...etc. It will require a multi-faceted approach and more than a few $$. Thanks for your comments!
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Old 03-08-2008, 07:54 PM   #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by espacef1fan
This makes sense and might even work. Therefore the military(and Army in particular) will never adopt it.


Again a good portion of the crashes I see around Fort Stewart that kill soldiers involve a motorist failing to yield to a motorcycle....usually while they are drunk or ona cell phone.

The vest thing. Yeah it helps..from behind.

...snipped...

I wont even go into some of the "policies" they tried to enforce in Iraq.....
The days I don't ride my Trek, I ride into Hunter AAF wearing my 'stich....with a stupid orange vest over it. It's not technically required but I hate to give the Wackenhut gate folks a reason to delay me.

I'm a ANG guy in a Army world. Rock of the Marne! and Hoo-ah! and all that.
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Old 03-09-2008, 12:44 AM   #58
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The military can "basically" do what they want.

There's 2 kinds of law:

Pro-script, which means everything is legal except This, This, and this. Regular folks (civilians) live in this world.

Pre-script, which means everything is illegal excepth this, this, and this. The military lives in this world. This is how the military can put parts of a town or village off limits, etc., etc.

This is the way it was explained to me many, many moons ago. Whether the terms are still the same, I don't know.
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Old 03-09-2008, 03:58 AM   #59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smokinjoe
The military can "basically" do what they want.

There's 2 kinds of law:

Pro-script, which means everything is legal except This, This, and this. Regular folks (civilians) live in this world.

Pre-script, which means everything is illegal excepth this, this, and this. The military lives in this world. This is how the military can put parts of a town or village off limits, etc., etc.

This is the way it was explained to me many, many moons ago. Whether the terms are still the same, I don't know.
Best way I've heard it put. I'll remember that, thank you!
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Old 03-09-2008, 04:45 AM   #60
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Rider courses to improve safety

Down here in Australia our old defence minister was a keen biker and recognised that there are a lot of military members who ride bikes and there were a lot of accidents involving military members with motorbikes. Seeing this he put in place a scheme where any member of the defence force can get funding to attend one motorbike course of their choosing each year.

This can be for either on or off-road.

What's the catch? No catch. Just safer bike handling and awareness and therefore a reduction in the number of accidents.

The way they have implemented this here is to have a number of larger more reputable companies/courses which have automatic funding approval and the smaller ones are assessed on a case by case basis.

Maybe you could write to your brass and get them to have a look at what the Australian Military are doing rather than trying to ban motorbikes and treat you like a little kid.
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