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Brigadier General Thomas A. Gorry (Commanding General Marine Corps Installations East) was a guest of CU-IGRSS May 8, 2012 at Clemson University and returned to campus as our guest in the President’s Box as well as the Board of Trustees’ Box on October 20, 2012 for the Clemson vs. Virginia Tech (Military Appreciation Day) game.
CU-IGRSS worked with General Gorry regarding CU-IGRSS's safe driving program at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune and was honored that the General accepted their invitation to participate in Military Appreciation Day at Clemson University. CU-IGRSS worked with the General, his Aide de Camp, Captain Wheeler and Clemson Athletic Department, the Clemson Corp, LTC Mullinax (Army ROTC), Col Riemens-Van Laare (Air Force ROTC), and others regarding the Military Appreciation Day and the General’s involvement. CU-IGRSS along with David Thompson, a former Army NCO and President of the Clemson Student Veteran’s Association escorted BG Gorry and the Aide de Camp for the entire day.
A presentation was made at the Scroll of Honor Memorial at Memorial Park which is located across from the Clemson Memorial Stadium. General Gorry, along with Captain Wheeler, spoke with Veterans and other military personnel. Additionally, General Gorry participated in a Pre-Game Parade in honor of our soldiers and conducted the Army and Air Force enlistment ceremony at the end of the 1st Quarter for 50 new Clemson enlistees. Finally, he escorted one of the 30 families of fallen Clemson soldiers during half-time. CU-IGRSS was honored to host General Gorry for this event and has pledged its commitment to continue to work with our armed forces to reduce traffic related fatalities when our soldiers return home.
Research team, Richard Petty Driving Experience, Inc. (RPDE) and Clemson University Institute for Global Road Safety and Security (CU-IGRSS) provided a Dynamic Driving Course (DDC) in which participants were taught to recognize high-risk driving (4 wheel PMV) circumstances in non-tactical situations and learn strategies to mitigate the threats from these circumstances. These high-risk driving circumstances included driving with peers, optimistic bias, emotionality, drinking and driving, seatbelt use, distracted driving, and fatigued driving. Research team delivered six (6) six-hour DDCs scheduled and conducted during the fall of 2011. Each six-hour course consisted of a maximum 32 participants and the target audience was high- and medium-risk Marines. The course included assessment of participants while driving during multi-tasking and divided attention exercises. Participants received challenging lessons by ride-along instructors and engaged in classroom activities that were designed to address the mishap/crash data for active duty military personnel based on data from Marine Corps Installations East (MCIEAST) Safety Office.
According to the Center for Disease Control (2010), in the United States, motor vehicle–related injuries are the leading cause of death for people ages 1–34. Further, nearly 3 million people sustained automotive injuries that require an emergency room visit in 2009. Similarly, the leading cause of fatalities among military personnel in the U.S. is motor vehicle crashes, including privately owned and military motor vehicles (Krahl et al., 2010). Since 2005, the Marine Corps bases on the East Coast alone have lost over 180 lives to 4-wheel PMV crashes.
In response to this problem, Richard Petty Driving Experience, Inc. (RPDE) and Clemson University Institute for Global Road Safety and Security (CU-IGRSS) jointly designed, developed, implemented, and evaluated the Dynamic Driving Course (DDC) safe driving training program for the Marines. This course was targeted to reduce dangerous driving behaviors such as driver distraction, inattention, drowsy driving, speeding, impaired driving, unsafe lane-keeping, and following too closely through both on-track and classroom learning modules. This program utilized the following modules: braking, loss of control, obstacle avoidance/reaction time, and tailgating.
Dr. Kim Alexander and Ms. Murphree were honored to be invited by General Gorry to attend the United States Marine Corps 237th Birthday Ball at Camp Lejeune on November 9th, 2012 as well as a special gathering at the General’s home prior to the evening festivities. The event had a number of ceremonies that celebrated the long history of the Marine Corps which included the historical cake cutting ceremony in which the first piece of cake was presented to the oldest present Marine while the second piece was presented to the youngest present Marine. This ceremony was then followed by a parade which articulated the history of the Marine Corps by creating a timeline of all of the Marine uniforms worn since its inception in 1775. Dr. Alexander and Mrs. Murphree were honored to attend this special occasion and they continue to work towards building CU-IGRSS’s relationship with all of the United States’ armed forces.