Sgt. Martinez leads from front as Unit Prevention Leader

Sgt. Tomas Martinez, center, assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 4th Battalion, 17th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, stands with Joseph Crawford, left, manager, Fort Bliss Army Substance Abuse Program, and Christopher Lewis, drug detection clerk, at the ASAP offices Jan. 19. Martinez is an outstanding Unit Prevention Leader. Courtesy photo.

Sgt. Tomas Martinez, center, assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 4th Battalion, 17th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, stands with Joseph Crawford, left, manager, Fort Bliss Army Substance Abuse Program, and Christopher Lewis, drug detection clerk, at the ASAP offices Jan. 19. Martinez is an outstanding Unit Prevention Leader. Courtesy photo.

By Thomana Flores, Fort Bliss ASAP Prevention Specialist:

(El Paso, Texas, Feb. 1, 2018)

Sgt. Tomas Martinez, assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 4th Battalion, 17th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, is an outstanding Unit Prevention Leader, and the Fort Bliss Army Substance Abuse Program would like to thank him for his hard work.

Not only did Martinez do an outstanding job in supporting the mission of National Red Ribbon Week, he also exceeded expectations when participating in the monthly hands-on portion of the Unit Prevention Leaders course by dedicating time and support.

The UPL course is a 40-hour class given monthly. During this time, service members learn about specimen collection, regulation, storage and shipment procedures. Being a UPL is an extra duty that does not come with promotion points. Despite this stipulation, UPLs have assisted in our ASAP family on several campaigns, projects and events.

UPLs play a vital role in the commander’s substance abuse prevention program. There are 700 UPLs on this installation and they conduct a variety of trainings.

Martinez said he wanted to become a UPL because he believes interaction with service members is not only essential, but necessary when it comes to prevention issues.

“When I do trainings, I get a satisfaction out of being able to answer questions they may have,” Martinez said. “You have to have integrity to be a UPL because you always have to do the right thing at all times, in and out of uniform.”

Commands handpick UPLs, and they must lead from the front. On behalf of the program, we would like to thank Martinez, and all UPLs on this installation, for living by the Army values and assisting team ASAP in mandatory functions that benefit all service members.

UPLs are responsible for giving the most up-to-date, relevant information through briefings about drug and alcohol trends at the unit or battalion level. In addition, UPLs track four hours of training annually that is required for every Soldier. Martinez does an excellent job of making sure Soldiers take this required training and he tests his unit at the required rate of 10 percent a month.

Materials available to the UPLs to conduct  training include pedal carts, beer goggles, informational drug and alcohol DVDs and marketing material. Martinez said he particularly likes training with the beer goggles.

ASAP will be participating in Alcohol Awareness Month in April, and Martinez said he plans to support the effort.

For more information, contact ASAP at Bldg. 21000 Minue Dr., or call 744-5188.