As a field operating agency of Headquarters, Department of the Army, the U.S. Army Combat Readiness Center serves as the single source of safety and occupational health information for Soldiers, DA Civilians and contractor employees across the force. While the USACRC has traditionally focused on safety since its founding during the Korean War, the organization’s mission was expanded to include occupational health in 2015 by mandate of Army leadership.
The USACRC’s Soldiers and DA civilian employees target their efforts on safety and risk management issues affecting the entire Army, from on-duty ground and aviation operations to off-duty driving and recreation, as well as job-related civilian injury prevention. Numerous online risk management tools and multimedia products are developed and refined within these focus areas annually for use by leaders, Soldiers and safety professionals in the field, including:
- Army Readiness Assessment Program
- Army Risk Management Information System
- Ground Risk Assessment Tool
- Off-Duty Safety Awareness Presentation
- Preliminary Loss Reports
- Travel Risk Planning System
- Driver’s Training Toolbox
- Range & Weapons Safety Toolbox
- Risk Management Magazine
- Seasonal/topical safety campaigns
In addition to its online loss prevention programs, the USACRC has sole responsibility for training the Army’s Career Program 12 SOH professionals, aviation safety officers and ground safety officers. These courses offer a robust, realistic training regimen both in classroom and hands-on at the USACRC Crash Dynamics Laboratory. The CDL is a state-of-the-art interactive facility where actual Army vehicles and aircraft replicate a number of crash scenarios to train students on accident investigation techniques, a valuable skill commanders may utilize should their units experience a mishap.
The USACRC is perhaps best known for its Centralized Accident Investigations. Teams of highly trained investigators and subject matter experts deploy worldwide at the discretion of the commanding general, USACRC, in the event of Class A accidents resulting in fatality or permanent total disability, property damage of $2 million or more, or Army aircraft reported as destroyed, missing or abandoned. Past CAIs have revealed lessons learned regarding materiel failures, environmental concerns and human factors issues, among others, leading to improved engineering and training solutions applied Army-wide.
For more information on the USACRC and the Army SOH Program, visit safety.army.mil.
Director of Army Safety and Commander, USACRC
Brigadier General Andrew C. Hilmes earned his commission as an Armor officer at the United States Military Academy, West Point, New York, graduating with a Bachelor of Science in 1995. BG Hilmes was most recently assigned as Deputy Commanding Officer for Maneuver, 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Stewart, Georgia. He previously served as Executive Officer to the Commander of Resolute Support/U.S. Forces, Afghanistan, 2017-2018, and as commander of the U.S. Army Garrison, Fort Benning, Georgia, 2015-2017. READ MORE
Deputy Commanding Officer, USACRC
Col. Ronald L. Ells entered the United States Army in October 1988. He attended Infantry One Station Unit Training at Fort Benning, Georgia, and was assigned to 2-14th Infantry Regiment at Fort Drum, New York. Ells was later accepted to attend the United States Military Academy and graduated in May 1993. He then completed Initial Entry Rotary Wing training at Fort Rucker, Alabama, and qualified in UH-1, OH-58 and UH-60 A/L helicopters. Ells’ assignments include rifleman and team leader, C Co., 2-14th Infantry Regiment, Fort... READ MORE
Command Sergeant Major, USACRC
Command Sgt. Maj. William L. Gardner II is a native of Washington and enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1983. He attended basic and advanced individual training at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, where he earned MOS 82C (Field Artillery Surveyor). His first assignment was in Garlstedt, Germany, with the 2nd Armored Division (FWD). After completion of his first term of service, he attended Georgetown College to pursue his bachelor’s degree. Gardner returned to active service in 1988 and earned a secondary MOS of 13F (Fire Support ... READ MORE