USSOCOM offers motorcycle safety courses for MacDill service members

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman David D. McLoney
  • 6th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs

Did you know that in order to ride a motorcycle in the state of Florida, you are required to pass an authorized Motorcycle Safety Foundation Basic Rider Course?

Lucky for MacDill motorcycle enthusiasts, U.S. Special Operations Command hosts six motorcycle safety classes to provide training for service members, whether they’re a beginner that doesn’t even have a motorcycle, or someone who has been riding for years and wants to feel more comfortable on the road.

All motorcycle riders under the Department of Defense are required to go to a recurrent training once every five years. The courses offered at MacDill include the basic rider course, basic rider course two (experienced riders), advanced rider course, advanced large rider course, circuit riders course, and the sport bike large rider course.

“The program also provides courses for riders of every experience level to improve critical rider skills as well as discuss rider behavior and decision making processes to help riders make good choices while on the road,” said Mike Russell, MSF training RiderCoach.

The idea for USSOCOM to sponsor the MSF BRC didn’t come out of nowhere though. It was started due to a noticeable discovery.

“Ten or so years ago, special operators were getting killed more on motorcycles than they were overseas in the Middle East,” said Charles Crisp, USSOCOM motorcycle safety coordinator. “At the time, Admiral Eric Olsen, our past USSOCOM commander, decided we needed to basically start provide training to our personnel.”

The training is designed to mitigate the frequency of these incidents by teaching individuals the safe way to ride.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, over the past four years, there have been more than 500 motorcycle fatalities in Florida and 5,458 fatalities across the U.S. in 2020. In addition, Florida currently has the highest number of motorcycle fatalities per 10,000 motorcycles in the U.S.

To reduce those motorcycle fatalities, Russell has set forth a bunch of time and effort into running the provided classes, ensuring every individual leaves with a full understanding of what the course teaches.

“My real passion is helping save the lives of our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Guardians, Marines and civilians,” Russell said. “They deserve the best training available to avoid accidents and injuries and help keep them on the job for our country.”

Russell has been instructing the motorcycle safety courses since they were initially implemented at MacDill to make motorcycle riding safe for service members not only stateside, but also overseas, helping USSOCOM components as well as the Theater Special Operations Commands get their motorcycle safety courses up and running.

“All of the RiderCoach that work with the course students are volunteers,” Russell said. “No one is out there for any other reason but to provide the best training possible for our warriors to help keep them safe on the streets.”

Upon completion of the course, riders receive a Motorcycle Safety Foundation course completion card. That card can be used to get an endorsement on one’s driver’s license. Those who already have a valid U.S. driver’s license with a motorcycle endorsement are good to ride.

For more information about the MacDill motorcycle safety requirements, visit

To enroll in a motorcycle safety course or for more information about a motorcycle safety course offered at MacDill, contact your unit motorcycle safety representative.