Posted on Apr 3, 2014
CW2 Armament Technician
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Hypothetical Situation: SM kills SM after duty shift. After a 24 hour staff duty shift, PVT or SGT or LT Snuffy has to drive 30 minutes home to his home to rest. Due to extreme fatigue, he/she passes out, and ends up in a head-on collision with another car. Lets say it's a pregnant mother and child, who both die.<br><br>Who is to blame? Snuffy or command policy? <br>
Posted in these groups: Duty honor country tadhc 4t Duty0 Staff DutySleep Sleeping
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Responses: 37
MSG Senior Airdrop Advisor
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im not focussing on the blame. i am focussing on how to fix the problem. staff duty is a way to let leaders know what is going on. well, blackberries are too. i agree that a higher headquarters whould have some sort of duty officer or NCO there to accomplish those duties. but how do we do it. it needs to be a team. you know how many times i sat on duty where the NCO had to stay awake but the duty officer was allowed to sleep in the back? i got it. we're as hard a woodpecker lips. i usually would send my driver to bed. once, the LT came out and told me that the SPC should be up with me. i told him that maybe he should stay up with me instead, since the soldier was considered the Runner/Driver he would need the most rest.
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SFC Observer   Controller/Trainer (Oc/T)
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In the days of cell phones and email, staff duty is an anachronism anyway. It's time to get rid of the archaic practice..
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SGT Kristin Wiley
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I'd argue the command is at fault. No the command is not telling the SM to drive home after a 24 hour duty, but it is implied. Did they put a program in place to ensure SMs get home safely? Do they offer an alternate means to sleep before driving home? Was this danger mentioned in a safety brief with ways to mitigate the risk? If the soldier admitted to being too tired to drive, would the command have responded properly without unnecessary criticism for this 'weakness'? From my experience the answer to all of the above has been no.

When I am on staff duty, I try to let my runner have time to sleep even if its just a few hours. On weekends this is harder to do, since SMs are constantly locking themselves out of their rooms or causing a nuisance. Driving while sleep deprived is worse than driving drunk, but the command punishes one and ignores the other. If we don't foster an environment where its acceptable for a SM to admit he/she is too tired to do a task, then the command will always be partially at fault.
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PV2 Chemical Biological Radiological and Nuclear Operations Specialist
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ooah sgt ooah
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SSG Greg Miech
SSG Greg Miech
11 mo
I can see a SD for Battalion and Brigade level. Have a driver with vehicle available. Companies can have a POC living at the barracks if something comes up.
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