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It's mandatory, it's safe and it's free 
By Army Capt. Ken Walsh, Colorado Army National Guard Safety and Air Force Staff Sgt. Nicole Manzanares, Colorado National Guard Public Affairs with Army Maj. Keith A. Robinson, CONG Staff Judge Advocate 
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  Attention all motorcycle riders:

Did you know you are required to complete the Motorcycle Safety Foundation Basic Rider Course? It’s per AR 385-10, AFI 91-207, NGR 385-10, and the DODI 6055.4. While the process is different for Soldiers and Airmen, the good news is, it’s free.

Soldiers can visit: http://nm.msf-usa.org/msf/ridercourses.aspx?state=CO, choose your preferred class location, then call Army Capt. Ken Walsh or Chief Warrant Officer 4 Drew Zanoff of the Colorado Army National Guard Safety & Occupational Health Office at (720) 847-8452/8468 in order to coordinate payment before attending.

There’s even more good news: Once you complete the BRC, you have the option to complete any follow on motorcycle course for free. That includes the Advanced Rider, Sport Bike Rider, etcetera, because want you to be safe riders.

Airmen should contact Chief Master Sgt. Gerald James, 140th Wing Safety, at (720) 847-9738 to get started.

Your process will start when you send him some basic information (name, rank, status). He’ll write a letter that you’ll take that letter to the 460th Space Wing Safety Office. There, you’ll complete a checklist and a safety briefing, then you’ll choose a course from one of three contract vendors.

Airmen must pay for the class in advance but will be reimbursed upon successful completion of the course. The reimbursement process starts when an Airman returns his or her checklist, the MSF card and receipt to the 460th Safety office.

Operating your motorcycle on or off a DOD installation:

In addition to carrying your MSF card while operating your motorcycle, the following personal protective equipment MUST be worn while operating your motorcycle on a DOD installation, and is highly encouraged at all other times for your protection These are the regulatory minimums that apply to mopeds, scooters and all-terrain vehicles. Check with each installation for additional requirements.

Head Protection: A helmet designed to meet or exceed Department of Transportation standards, must be worn and properly fastened under the chin.

Eye Protection: Goggles, wrap-around glasses, or a full-face shield (properly attached to helmet) designed to meet or exceed American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Standard Z87.1 for impact and shatter resistance must be worn. A windshield alone does not constitute proper eye protection.


Protective Clothing: A long-sleeve shirt or jacket, long trousers and full-fingered gloves are required. Gloves should be a sturdy, non-slip type to permit a firm grip on the controls. Motorcycle jacket and pants constructed of abrasion-resistant materials such as leather, Kevlar®, and or Cordura®, and containing impact-absorbing padding, are strongly encouraged. The synthetic materials offer equal – and sometimes greater protection – than leather at half the weight, and can help keep you cool during Colorado’s hot summers.

Foot Protection: Riders must wear sturdy over-the-ankle footwear that affords protection for the feet and ankles (durable athletic shoes that cover the ankles may also be worn). Sandals, low quarter sneakers or similar footwear cannot be worn.

Garment and Motorcycle Visibility: Motorcycle riders must wear brightly-colored outer upper garments during the day and reflective upper garments at night. The outer upper garment must be visible and not covered. Wearing a backpack is authorized if it’s brightly colored or has reflective properties.

 What Colorado law says
By Army Maj. Keith A. Robinson, CONG Staff Judge Advocate

In Colorado, the law states that only those persons under 18 who are operating or are passengers on motorcycles must wear helmets. If you're 18 or over, no helmet is required in Colorado. This applies off-post. At a minimum, however, Colorado law requires all motorcycle operators and passengers to wear goggles or eyeglasses with lenses made of safety glass or safety plastic unless wearing a helmet with built-in eye protection made of safety glass or safety plastic.

There is no question that a commander has the authority to require helmets, vests, glasses or other personal protective equipment on base. However, I would argue that a commander also has the ability to order helmets be worn at all times – even off-post – since the Colorado Code of Military Justice applies to us all at all times, whether on duty status or not. Enforcement then becomes an issue along with morale and liberty interests and I can understand if a commander doesn’t want to push his authority that far. 

If a commander does not want to order helmets be worn at all times, even off-duty and off-post, then I would recommend a policy that requires helmets off-post but during duty hours, which includes trips from home to duty on drill weekends. 

We have medical coverage the moment we leave our driveways on our way to drill and in my opinion, since we are on duty, the commander does have authority to require that motorcycles riders wear helmets as a protective, safety, health and welfare measure, even if this means going to and from home on drill weekends. 

4/28/2010