Ronald Reagan said, "Surround yourself with the best people you can find." As the commander and command sergeant major of U.S. Army Installation Management Command, we found ourselves among outstanding people the day we stepped into our roles.

This three-day weekend is called Presidents Day, though officially it still bears the name of our first president, George Washington. We take the time to celebrate and draw inspiration from the examples of all our presidents, past and present.

Any time off we have should be enjoyed to the fullest. We encourage Soldiers and Army civilians to spend this time doing something enjoyable and taking a break from the workplace. I also want everyone to be safe when they are out enjoying themselves and come back from a long weekend refreshed.

Commanders and leaders must stay aware of the risk that personally owned vehicle driving presents to the force. POV accidents continue to affect our Army. Midwinter driving conditions are often less than ideal. Plan ahead and use the tools available through the Travel Risk Planning System ( Don't text and drive. Distracted driving is a major cause of accidents and are 100 percent preventable. Remember, it can wait.

While freezing winter temperatures keep many adults indoors, children may want to play outside all day. Each year, ERs throughout the U.S. treat children for injuries related to sledding and ice skating. Frostbite is also a threat for children. Teach your children the warning signs and insist on appropriate attire. More information is available at

Theodore Roosevelt said, "With self discipline most anything is possible." Cold weather can discourage even the most motivated exercisers. And, if you're not as motivated, it's all too easy to pack away your workout gear and wait for the warm weather to return. But, you don't have to let cold weather keep you from exercising. Gerald Ford was an avid, cold-weather sport enthusiast. Before heading out, check the forecast. Wind, temperature, and moisture are key in planning a safe, cold-weather workout.

Thomas Jefferson said, "Nothing can stop someone with the right mental attitude from achieving their goal; nothing on earth can help someone with the wrong mental attitude." Use this long weekend to recharge, refit, and rest — it is well deserved.

Once a Soldier, Always a Soldier. Soldier for Life.

Lt. Gen. David D. Halverson

Commander U.S. Army Installation

Management Command and Assistant Chief of Staff for Installation Management

Command Sgt. Maj. Jeffrey Hartless