Army recruits firm to aid in safety push

WASHINGTON: With non-combat deaths on the rise overseas, the US Army is looking for ways - and a PR firm - to raise awareness of safety issues among soldiers.

WASHINGTON: With non-combat deaths on the rise overseas, the US Army is looking for ways - and a PR firm - to raise awareness of safety issues among soldiers.

The US Army Combat Readiness Center (recently renamed from the Army Safety Center) has issued an RFP for a two-phase communications plan for audiences both inside and outside the military.

During the first phase, the agency will conduct focus groups, interviews, and surveys with soldiers in order to design the safety campaign. The second phase will involve identifying who should receive the messages, and then relaying them.

The work, which has an undisclosed budget, is for one year, with two renewal options.

The name change was part of an effort to convey the idea that safety is a constant foundation for all activities.

Earlier this month, the Army also began promoting a partnership with the National Traffic Safety Institute (NTSI) to reduce driving accidents.

The pairing of a high-risk demographic (18- to 24-year- olds) with an aggressive driving environment has made serious traffic accidents more common in the military, said Paul Hallums, president and CEO of the NTSI. "A lot of people who come into the Army don't have a lot of driving experience and then go out and drive in a different environment," he said.

The Army is investing $1.6 million in the initiative over the next four years.

The Russell Public Affairs Group, AOR for the NTSI, is handling media relations for the program.

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