Date Signed: 8/29/2023 | ALMARS Number: 025/23
ALMARS : 025/23

R 292100Z AUG 23
ALMAR 025/23
GENTEXT/REMARKS/1.  FROM THE ASSISTANT COMMANDANT OF THE MARINE CORPS:  “Marines, when we have any training mishap, we must conduct a thorough and harsh review of our processes to confirm that our culture of safety is still strong.  Caring for the families of any Marine lost in a training mishap is our primary concern, and we can never offer them all that they deserve as they deal with the loss of their loved one.  I cannot speak for those families, but I believe they may take comfort knowing that every possible measure has been taken to prevent a future mishap.  Safety is a key element of our warrior culture.  When we lose Marines we are not only heartbroken, but we are also less ready for combat.  I am accountable to all Marine families and United States national leaders for the safety of Marines.  In turn, you are each accountable to me for the safe conduct of training and operations.  We share this mission, and must remain fully committed to it.  I am ordering a unit level review of our culture of safety to be completed no later than 15 September 2023.  I expect each unit to gather at the appropriate level (Bn, Sqdn, Plt, etc.) to discuss, in detail, the elements of what it means to be a professional warfighting organization as it relates to the safe conduct of every event from training to combat.  Safety is not a peacetime concern; it is a warfighting issue.  Every aspect of training from safe weapons handling to proper ground guides to the ruthless adherence to standards in our aircraft and vehicles, demonstrates that we are indeed professional warriors.  We will use this review to ensure that we are indeed ensuring Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) operators have proper rest before a movement; that proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is worn at any range, and that a thorough review of any mission is conducted for ALL hands before we cross the line of departure.  Commanders are responsible for setting conditions that enable supervision of sleep, reviews, checks and cross checks before we execute training, and for ensuring that our current climate where any Marine can sound off when they see an unsafe condition is continued.  We will continue to train realistically for combat, full stop.  We can, we must, and we will conduct that training from a start point of risk being reduced to the maximum extent possible.  The hours we spend in this review is our chance to discuss HOW we will do this.  It is not a venue for lectures, or for wagging our finger at a Marine or a command.  I know every Marine is committed to the safety of every other Marine, and I know that you balance real world readiness with safe training.  These two things are never mutually exclusive, and can be done simultaneously.  I need the Corporals and Captains to send feedback on how we maintain our culture of safety, and where possible, how we improve it.  The motivation to provide me with high quality recommendations lies in the names of Marines who cannot participate due to being lost in mishaps.  They would trade places with us without hesitation, so please remember that as you begin this task.  Semper Fidelis.”
2.  APPLICABILITY.  This ALMAR applies to all organizations, uniformed and civilian, within the Marine Corps.
3.  BACKGROUND.  While nearly all Marine Corps operations unfold safely and according to our high standards, we know we have room for improvement.  Although we are making significant improvements to lethality and our readiness for future challenges, we continue to lose nearly a platoon’s worth of Marines and Sailors to training accidents and off-duty mishaps each year.
4.  MISSION.  No later than (NLT) 15 September 2023, commanders and supervisors at all levels review and document their unit’s approach to safety in order to reinforce proper procedures, provide information, and gather feedback for future actions.
5.a.  PURPOSE.  To reinforce proper procedures, provide information, and gather feedback for future actions.
5.b.  METHOD.  NLT 15 September 2023, the Marine Corps will conduct unit-level guided discussions of what it means to operate safely.  The discussions will produce recommendations on how to improve the Corps’ approach to safety.
5.c.  ENDSTATE.  The endstate is a Marine Corps that is capable, safe, and ready.
6.a.  TASKS.  NLT 15 September 2023, Commanders and supervisors at all levels shall review their units’ attitudes regarding safety, examine the risks of their operational environment, and identify ways and means to mitigate risks to an acceptable level.  NLT 15 October 2023, Commanders will submit required feedback to CMC Safety Division, via their chain of command, per paragraph 6.a.2.
6.a.1.  METHODOLOGY.  Group discussions are directed.  Discussions should review a mishap or scenario that would be applicable to the unit, pausing to ask questions designed to stimulate conversation and solicit opinions.  The CMC Safety Division mishap library provides examples for the basis of discussions.  Focus should be on the conditions leading to the mishap, and what might have been done to prevent the conditions that caused or contributed to the mishap.  All opinions are important, not just those of leadership.  Examples include the 2020 Amphibious Assault Vehicle (AAV) mishap for a Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU)/Amphibious Operations and examples across type, model, series in the aviation community.  Facilitated discussions should place Marines at the point of friction and permit them to identify and describe emerging risks.  Discussions should provide participants opportunities to note where intervention might have interrupted the mishap chain.
6.a.2.  REQUIRED FEEDBACK.  Junior personnel will be asked to provide honest feedback on perceived hazards; they should expect to do so without fear of reprisal.  Seniors must be ready to describe how they would manage and mitigate risks, including when the level of risk exceeds their ability to mitigate it.  Candor is expected and required.  Commanders will record their observations of the discussions, what they indicate about units’ abilities to identify hazards and mitigate risk, and where we should apply additional resources.  Responses will be routed through the chain of command to HQMC Safety Division and will be incorporated into the agendas of upcoming Executive Safety Councils and Executive Safety Boards.  Responses are due to Safety Division NLT 15 October 2023.  Submit responses to
6.b.  COORDINATING INSTRUCTIONS.  The following topics shall be discussed as they relate to safety, both on and off duty:
6.b.1.  Preparation for Combat/Brilliance in the Basics/After-actions.  Discussions shall include, but are not limited to:
(1) How do we know we are ready to execute a mission?
(2) What baseline of competence is required to execute to standard? How do we know we have achieved it?
(3) What makes for effective after-action reviews?
6.b.2.  Compliance/standards/preparation of the environment.  Discussions shall include, but are not limited to:
(1) Where do we define our standards?
(2) How do changes in the operational environment induce stress? How do we know and report changes that induce additional risk?
(3) Discuss the idea that “Marines do more with less,” specifically what it means in complex and technical operating environments.
6.b.3.  Anticipating/mitigating/accepting risks.  Discussions shall include, but are not limited to:
(1) What risks exist during normal operations that are most difficult to mitigate? Why? What might be done to identify and mitigate them?
(2) How do we ensure decisions regarding risk are made at the right level? What can be done to elevate risk decisions to the appropriate level?
(3) How can Marines provide forceful backup when risks are identified and mitigated?  What should be expected?
(4) How do we apply risk management principles when off duty?
6.b.4.  Fatigue.  Discussion shall include, but is not limited to:
(1) How do we prioritize sleep against other competing demands?
(2) How do we prioritize sleep during sustained operations?
(3) What methods or changes could your command implement to ensure adequate sleep?
(4) How do we manage fatigue-related risk in off-duty activities?
6.c.  TRAINING COMPLETION DOCUMENTATION.  CMC Safety Division has created the training requirement “HQMC SAFETY REVIEW”.  Units will document training via unit training rosters in MCTIMS.  Units will report training complete via MCTIMS NLT 22 September 2023.
6.d.  RESOURCES.  The following resources can facilitate the safety review.  Leaders should tailor the training and discussions to their mission.
6.d.1.  Marine Corps Mishap Library:  https:(slash)(slash)
6.d.2.  Naval Safety Command Mishap Statistics:  https: (slash)(slash)
6.d.3.  Naval Safety Command Safety Awareness Products:  https:(slash)(slash)
7.  Release authorized by General Eric M. Smith, Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps.//