Hunter Army Airfield, Ga.
So, you've set all your plans in stone. You will meet up with all your friends and comrades at the local pub this Friday night to enjoy a night of fun and frolic. In all of this excitement and planning, did anyone stop to ask who was going to be the designated driver for the evening?
Why do we roll our eyes at the Marne Pride Pledge? It’s not cool or fun? It is a rule, but rules are a way of life. We even have rules as single Soldiers when we socialize; like being nominated by our friends as the “Designated Driver or DD” for the night. Being the DD is similar to following the Marne Pledge in that it is not a role to take lightly because it is all about doing the right thing and taking care of your buddy.
So, first, let’s explain the duties of the DD. The code is similar to the Marne Pledge however, as men and women we do not sign any paper or announce it online. Instead it's a silent nod or handshake between fellow comrades. It is a look that says, man if you do something stupid I have your back. I will not allow you to drive while under the influence of alcohol. However, if you fail, and we end up having to pay for cab or hotel rooms, believe me you are not off the hook. You will be paying for my drinks the next time we go. If you fail again the next time we go out then you’re “Done” and we will ensure that your future entails some lonely nights.
This type of agreement is not to be taken lightly. There are plenty of Soldiers who will offer to be the designated driver, but not every Soldier upholds their obligation. Some Soldiers give into just a little peer pressure and drink a few drinks, and then like to believe that “they are ok to drive” even though they are not… this NOT a designated driver.
Drinking and driving causes fatal accidents everyday! It is our responsibility as Soldiers and as members of our community to make sure this stops happening. Even if you are not driving, letting a friend get on the road under the influence is just as bad.
It is through harsh experiences that I write this article for you. Someone else’s lack of planning to have a DD resulted in the loss of a close friend. Unfortunately, some of you are hard headed and need a wakeup call, like mine, before you will finally realize how important it really is to have a designated driver. But then it may be too late for someone you love or care about.
As Dog Faced Soldiers, we sign the Marne Pride Pledge because we do not want to continue to lose our fellow comrades due to alcohol incidents. Do your part and be proud to say you have Marne Pride.
It’s funny, because I never understood why there were so many incidents occurring within the unit.
It’s all about individual responsibility to take care of each other. I take care of you and trust you will take care of me when I deploy. So why can’t I trust that you will take care of me when I go out? Ridiculous!