Mass shootings, in crowded areas and on innocent civilians, have unfortunately become a serious threat in today's society. Especially extremist motivated shootings like the murders in San Bernardino, California or Orlando, Florida.

Fort Jackson is moving to change that by arming civilians and Soldiers with the knowledge necessary to identify, and act on, possible threats through an active shooter training session taking place next week.

This month marks the eighth annual Antiterrorism Awareness Month in the Army.

According to, terrorism is a persistent threat to the Army and "communities must be ready to defend against the full range of terrorist tactics. The safety of Army personnel, civilians, and Families is of the highest concern both in the field and in civilian life."

"The whole purpose of AT month is to make community aware of the threats out there, threats that we need to be aware of and plan for accordingly," said Mark Mallach, garrison antiterrorism officer at Fort Jackson.

The first training session is set to take place over two days Aug. 14 and 15 at the Armed Forces Chaplain School on post. Multiple subject matter experts from various government and civilian agencies will be present including experts from the FBI, Naval School and Naval Warfare Center.

"We really want to highlight the opportunity for people in the protection agencies to come and learn," Mallach said, "and it's a chance for the people at Fort Jackson to spearhead active shooter crisis management."

Special guest speakers include Dr. Josef Olmert, from the University of South Carolina, a Middle Eastern studies professor and expert in the region, and psychiatrist Dr. (Maj.) Peter Armanas who will give insight into the mental state of active shooters as well as PTSD. A stadium protection expert will also be present to elaborate on how to deal with an active shooter scenario in a stadium or sports arena.

There will also be law enforcement representatives from San Bernardino, Chattanooga, Tennessee, and Orlando, where active shootings have taken place, to offer insight into this threat. Speakers will also elaborate on measures that have already been implemented, such as iWATCH Army and iSALUTE.

The end goal of the session is equip Soldiers, leaders and Families with the proper knowledge to be prepare if such a threat were occur on their watch, Mallach said.

"We want to make sure folks are vigilant year round," Mallach added. "It's all about survivability in these situations."