NEWS | Sept. 14, 2020

Safety: Think Before You Climb

Dismounting from Bradley Fighting Vehicle
Photo by Sgt. Leon Cook 

This article originally appeared in PS 760 (Mar 16), pp. 60-61.

Too many Soldiers are hurt when mounting or dismounting from Army equipment. Often these injuries are caused by failure to follow basic safety guidelines. How can you avoid getting hurt? Be aware and think it through before you even make a move. Here are some tips:
  • Before climbing on equipment, remove all jewelry and put on protective gloves.
Remove risk of injury by removing jewelry
Remove risk of injury by removing jewelry
  • Make sure your boot soles have good traction to reduce chances of slipping.
  • When climbing, keep both hands free for grasping handholds. Don’t try to hold supplies, lunch buckets, tools or other items. If you need something, hoist it up after mounting the equipment or have a buddy hand it up to you. Do the same in reverse before climbing down.
  • Never dismount from a vehicle by jumping.
Easy does it when dismounting
Easy does it when dismounting
  • Make sure you understand and use the three points of contact method when mounting, dismounting or moving around on the vehicle. This means having two hands and one foot or two feet and one hand on the equipment at all times.
Use three points of contact
Use three points of contact
  • Break three points of contact only when you reach the ground, cab, turret or a stable platform.
  • Use the parts designed by the manufacturer for mounting and dismounting, such as steps, running boards, traction strips, footholds and handgrips. Keep these parts free of mud, snow, grease and other hazards.
Use proper parts when dismounting
Use proper parts when dismounting
  • Avoid using wheel hubs, machine tracks or door handles for mounting and dismounting.
  • Be sure the driver and gunner are aware whenever people mount or dismount from the vehicle.
  • Never mount or dismount from a moving vehicle. Drivers must bring the vehicle to a complete stop before allowing anyone to mount or dismount.
  • Never climb in front of a weapon when mounting or dismounting from a vehicle.
For more safety pointers, check out the US Army Combat Readiness/Safety Center at: