What are the dangers which menace us? If any exist they ought to be ascertained and guarded against.
~ James Monroe, 1st Inaugural Address, March 4, 1817
August marks the Army’s fifth annual observance of Antiterrorism Awareness Month. Each year, we improve our defenses through increased threat awareness and organizational and individual protection measures. Throughout this past year, we have focused on risk management, evolving terrorist tactics and how to synchronize our overall efforts. During Antiterrorism Awareness Month, we must build on these concepts by stressing the integral role heightened awareness and vigilance plays in the prevention of terrorist acts.
This year, command antiterrorism training and events should focus on three specific areas:
- recognizing and reporting suspicious behavior that may be a precursor to a terrorist act
- establishing procedures to properly vet contractors who require access to Army facilities and to thoroughly train those government-cleared contractors in antiterrorism awareness
- planning and conducting effective antiterrorism exercises that address the range of threats and associated protective measures.
As part of our observance, leaders at all levels should also seek to integrate Army Families and Family Readiness Groups into our protective umbrella. Not only are they vital members of the Army community, they represent a formidable group that greatly extends the eyes and ears of our law enforcement and security professionals.
We urge all commanders to actively engage with your Soldiers, Civilians and Families, conduct training and exercises, and sponsor events that reinforce the importance of protecting our communities against the persistent terrorist threat. Leaders should identify ways that each individual can uniquely contribute to the collective effort to keep our Army and our installations safe from those who would do us harm. Working together, we can and will present a unified defense for the strength of our Nation. Army Strong!