U.S. Army Security Assistance Command took top honors in the Army’s Antiterrorism Awards program for 2022.
“Every member of our team takes pride in what they do. To me, this says our team has grown together and learned how to navigate a non-traditional environment while separated geographically and reach a common understanding of priorities,” Ashley Stolze, director for USASAC G-2.
Stolze, along with her security team, was awarded the Best Large Unit Antiterrorism Program for 2022.
The U.S. Army Antiterrorism Awards program is designed to recognize personnel and organizations that achieve antiterrorism excellence while deterring terrorism through aggressive defensive measures and Army Antiterrorism strategic planning. Every year nominations are collected in a variety of categories Army-wide. This past December, the Office of the Provost Marshal General (OPMG), Antiterrorism Division, convened the Army Antiterrorism Awards Board to select winners.
“It’s highly competitive within the antiterrorism community,” Stolze added.
USASAC’s AT campaign included graphics for TV monitors, podcasts on antiterrorism awareness and cyber security, posters featuring leadership and security personnel, kiosks with pamphlets and games for employees to participate in, and social media posts throughout August.
“I think I shrieked at my desk and ran around the building announcing it. I was in complete shock, but also filled with pride in my team and their accomplishments in building the program while geographically separated,” said Stolze.
George Lawrence, the AT program manager, stationed in New Cumberland, Pennsylvania, along with alternate AT Program Managers Ralph Saorrono, Susanne Reinwald, and Donnell Sampson, all stationed at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, led the effort for USASAC.
“Our goal was to energize the workforce to a heightened state of awareness of antiterrorism, then sustain that level of awareness by applying the right amount of messaging,” Lawrence said. “We wanted to grab their attention through a variety of methods.”
Because antiterrorism awareness is a Commander’s program, a key ingredient to its success is having the support of leadership and other departments, Lawrence said.
“Our director encouraged us to be innovative and creative throughout the campaign. We sustained a close partnership with the public affairs office as well as the G-6 department to assist in executing the communication plan and broadcast our awareness messaging commandwide,” he said.
USASAC’s antiterrorism campaign plan included topics like foreign travel, suspicious reporting, and active shooters, among others.
“The campaign was to educate USASAC personnel while making it a fun and enjoyable experience,” said Sampson. “We wanted to make it interactive so personnel could retain the information without death by PowerPoint.”
By thinking outside the box while promoting security programs, the team created excitement and buzz throughout the organization, he added.
“We have a very creative team. By making it fun and energetic, we were able to provide superb messaging to the workforce,” said Saorrono.
The USASAC security office made workforce participation the focus of their efforts, which proved to be a winning strategy.
“The AT campaign was meant to generate a strong foundation of AT knowledge and how everyone plays a role in combatting threats. It was meant as a roadmap to build a stronger organizational team through AT awareness interactive games and information sharing,” said Reinwald.
The feedback from the workforce was positive, reaffirming that the team’s efforts and messaging made an impact, Reinwald said.
Stolze thanked her staff and all USASAC personnel for supporting the AT program and recognizing the importance of security in the command’s mission. “This was no small effort and I’m proud of every one of our team members for how they’ve come together to support each other and strive for excellence. They are all outstanding security professionals.”