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Keeping Marines alive:

By Cpl. Nikki Herman | | January 16, 2009

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During 2008, more Marines were killed in motorcycle accidents than by enemy fire; this marked the highest motorcycle death toll ever for the Marine Corps.
According to Marine officials, most of the accidents involved sport bikes that are capable of reaching speeds more than 100 mph.
With the New Year already started, the Marine Corps continues to strive to ensure its Marines stay safe.
As a reminder for those riders, II Marine Expeditionary Force and Marine Corps Installations East have provided clarification regarding motorcycle Personal Protective Equipment. (Deviations and local interpretation of this policy and amplifying guidance is neither desired nor authorized.)

While in uniform
The following PPE is mandatory for all military personnel operating or riding as a passenger on a motorcycle on or off MCI East installations.
• A properly fastened (under the chin) protective helmet which meets the standards of the Snell Memorial Foundation (Snell), the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), or the Department of Transportation (DoT).
• Impact or shatter resistant goggles or full-face shield attached to the helmet.  A windshield, eyeglasses or fairing alone is not considered proper eye protection.
• A commercially available mesh/fabric vest that is bright yellow, international orange or lime green with two 1 1/2 to 2 inches wide vertical or horizontal retro-reflective strips front and back.  The vest should be removed as soon as the Marine gets off the motorcycle.  The garment must not be covered or concealed, such as by a backpack.  To clarify, neither the woodland marpat, woodland camoflage, desert marpat, desert camoflage, or service uniforms are considered brightly colored.
• Hard-soled shoes with heels.  The use of leather boots or over the ankle shoes is encouraged.
• Properly worn long-sleeved shirt (sleeves rolled down) or jacket, long legged trousers and full-fingered gloves or mittens.  To clarify, civilian attire, such as long-sleeved t-shirts or jackets may not be worn over the uniform.
• Marines are authorized to wear a motorcycle-riding jacket constructed of abrasion resistant materials such as leather, kevlar, and/or cordura and containing impact-absorbing padding over the uniform while on the motorcycle. The jacket must be removed as soon as the Marine dismounts the motorcycle. According to MCO P1020.34g, the jacket must not contain graphics or text considered inappropriate with the image of the Marine Corps.  If the motorcycle-riding jacket meets the visibility Standards established for motorcycle riders, then a reflective vest is not needed. If the motorcycle riding jacket does not meet the visibility standards established for motorcycle riders, then the stipulations of appropriate retro-reflective or contrasting colored garment for day and night travel will be met by an appropriate vest.

While in civilian attire
The following PPE is mandatory for all personnel operating or riding as a passenger on a motorcycle on MCI East Installations, and all military personnel on and off MCI East Installations:
• A properly fastened (under the chin) protective helmet which meets the standards of Snell Memorial Foundation (Snell), the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), or the Department of Transportation (DoT).
• Impact or shatter resistant goggles or full-face shield attached to the helmet.  A windshield, eyeglasses or fairing alone is not considered proper eye protection.
• A brightly colored outer upper garment during the day and a reflective upper garment at night or a commercially available mesh/fabric vest that is bright yellow, international orange or lime green with two 1 1/2" to 2" wide vertical or horizontal retro-reflective strips front and back.  The garment must not be covered or concealed, such as by a backpack.  Black, gray, dark blue, dark green, and dark red do not meet the definition of brightly colored.
• Hard-soled shoes with heels.  The use of leather boots or over the ankle shoes is encouraged, but not mandatory.
• Properly worn long-sleeved shirt (sleeves rolled down) or jacket, long-legged trousers and full-fingered gloves or mittens.  Motorcycle-riding jackets and pants constructed of abrasion resistant materials such as leather, kevlar, and/or cordura and containing impact-absorbing padding are strongly encouraged.  If the motorcycle-riding jacket meets the visibility standards established for motorcycle riders, then a reflective vest is not needed.  If the motorcycle riding jacket does not meet the visibility standards established for motorcycle riders, then the stipulations of appropriate retro-reflective or contrasting colored garment for day and night travel will be met by an appropriate vest.

Additional PPE
Motorcycle operators during off-road operations while in uniform or civilian attire should also include knee and shin guards, off-road boots or Marine Corps boots, and padded full-fingered gloves.
Riders may also receive a temporary motorcycle registration with the authorization of MCI East Installation commanders to operate their vehicles on the installation for a brief period not to exceed 30 days while they complete the first available operator safety class.
As the Marine Corps’ hopes to improve from last year’s high numbers, the rules and regulations will continue to be strictly enforced.
Any military service member aboard a MCI East installation who violates the terms of the PPE requirement policy is subject to punitive action under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Any such person who operates a motorcycle with a passenger who is not in compliance with the requirements of this policy is also subject to punishment for violation of these PPE requirements.


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