Story by 2nd Lt. Tracci Dorgan
EASTOVER, SOUTH CAROLINA — The South Carolina National Guard offers a series of motorcycle safety courses so service members and their families can learn best practices for riding motorcycles and ensuring all safety measures are taken.
The South Carolina National Guard Safety Office taught the first updated version of the Basic Riders Course (BRCU) at McEntire Joint National Guard Base in Eastover, South Carolina in August 2016. The safety office has been using this location for several years and has a permanent track clearly marked for riders.
“Motorcycle riding is serious fun,” said U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Terry Addis, Joint Forces Headquarters safety non-commissioned officer, instructor and motorcycle rider. “The biggest thing I want riders to understand is that motorcycling is also dangerous. It requires constant diligence to be competent.”
According to the South Carolina National Guard Safety Office, the SCNG holds BRCU six or seven times a year with the advanced rider’s course and the Motorcycle Mentorship Program held in between.
“I want every rider who attends this class to leave with a better understanding on how their motorcycle operates during slow speed and tight maneuvering,” said U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Kevin A. Jeske, Joint Forces Headquarters safety non-commissioned officer, instructor and motorcycle rider. “Using the skills we work on throughout the class they have the knowledge and the skills to safely operate their motorcycle.”
Addis explained that the course is a requirement for all riders in the South Carolina National Guard; however, not all of them know about it. It is important for commanders to remind their Soldiers and Airmen about this training.
“I have learned a lot about the basics of riding,” said U.S. Army Spc. Ricky Harden, 124th Engineer Company. “Before coming to the actual course, I had a chance to talk to other Soldiers about it. Everyone I’ve asked had good things to say about the course. I can say one skill that stood out to me was to turn your head and look into the direction of your desired direction. That’s one thing I didn’t know; you’re going to go exactly where you look.”
“I would recommend BRCU to other Soldiers,” added Harden. “It’s good for new riders and riders who have been doing it for a while. Practice makes the correct reaction an instinct.”
As an Army directive, all Soldiers who ride motorcycles must complete the basic rider’s course; the South Carolina National Guard safety office hosts classes year-round to make attending convenient and free.