Charles 'Chuck' Ryan

Stripes Korea

USAG DAEGU --“Safety is a full time job; don’t make it a part-time practice.” That sounds like something Charles ‘Chuck’ Ryan, also known as 'Safety Guy,' might say. On the other hand, it is definitely something he constantly reiterates and strongly enforces as Charles ‘Chuck’ Ryan, Brigade Safety Manager, 403rd Army Field Support Brigade, Camp Henry, and recipient of the United States Forces Korea (USFK) Civilian of the Year Manager Award.

With safety as his mantra, Ryan is known throughout the 19th Expeditionary Sustainment Command (19th ESC), and USAG Daegu and Area IV for his colorful and creative approach to making safety a priority, and something that is always on the mind of every Soldier, family member, Department of Defense (DoD) Civilian, Korean National employee, retiree, and contractor.

Such unwavering commitment recently paid off when the Framingham, Mass. native became the recipient of the prestigious USFK Civilian of the Year Manager Award in a ceremony recently held at the Dragon Hill Lodge on Yongsan Army Base in Seoul, South Korea. The award was presented by General Curtis M. Scaparrotti, Commander, United Nations Command, Combined Forces Command and United States Forces Korea, and USFK Command Sergeant Major John Troxwell, before friends and colleagues who rendered overwhelming applause.

The award is not easy to come by, and is bestowed upon those who have proven to be exceptional in their work achievements and accomplishments. Recommended for the award by Colonel Kelly J. Lawler, Deputy Commander, 19th ESC, Ryan competed against others who have been nothing short of outstanding in their field. Graciously accepting the award, he acknowledged their service and dedication to the USFK, and Department of Defense safety effort.

Explaining the road to the award Ryan said, “This award was the climax of 10-plus years in the ‘Team 19 Safety Office’-- both in uniform, and as its Safety Director.  We reduced fatal accidents 97% over that time, and FY 14 was our safest ever. Three dozen of our units earned the Army Accident Prevention Award of Accomplishment for having zero serious accidents in certain categories."

While all of Ryan’s accomplishments are far too numerous to list here, no time is better than now to provide at least a few examples of just what led to his earning the prestigious civilian award. Among them are his contributions to the USFK mission, increased productivity, efficiency, cost savings and avoidance, innovativeness and creativeness, positive influence on co-workers and others, volunteer work with schools, youth sports, the foster parent program, and the Good Neighbor program, just to name a few. His contributions, however, don't stop there.

According to Col. Lawler, Ryan also wrote and recorded 47 'Safety Guy' radio Public Service Announcements (PSAs) in 2014 alone. "Both the television and radio PSAs that he films or records; are all written by him. He has a library of scripts written -- most written on his off time, that he shares with any unit or requester. He continues to embrace affirmative action; from utilizing the Korean college student intern's voice in his radio PSAs, to being a member of a hiring panel that selected a female to be the new safety specialist for U.S. Army Materiel Support Center-Korea," stated Lawler.

Still trying to wrap himself around his latest achievement, the USFK Civilian Manager Award recipient shows no sign of letting up. Donned in his all too familiar orange-colored safety attire, he continues to work toward making safety a priority for the USAG Daegu and Area IV community.

Said Ryan, "I especially enjoy each morning asking the staff duty 'Any bad accidents last night?' and hearing a' no' reply, or having a Soldier wave and say 'Hey Safety Guy' as I'm wearing something orange. Perhaps no one loves their job in the USFK as much as I."

Story by Mary B. Grimes
USAG Daegu Public Affairs

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