CSM Corner: Stay aware, stay sharp

By Command Sgt. Maj. Michael ConatyAugust 2, 2023

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ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. – We do routine things daily to keep ourselves, our families, and our communities safe. Simple acts, such as locking doors at home, looking around your vehicle before moving, noticing unfamiliar faces on your street, or piquing an interest in odd behavior in your neighborhood, are all things that many of us do each day, often without realizing it. The acts become second nature for some. These simple acts can also reduce our vulnerability to those who wish to do our nation harm at home and work.

The simple acts described above can be part of our personal protection measures that reduce our vulnerability to terrorist attacks and form the basis of a strong anti-terrorism program within our team. Fundamentals of individual protection include always maintaining situational awareness of your surroundings and paying attention to the activity around you. Protect your personal information from those that you don't know and don't trust. And never share specifics about military missions and projects in public.

At home, basic security starts with locking your door and establishing relationships with your neighbors and community. Should an emergency require you to relocate or shelter in place, a plan will help all family members understand their role and what to expect. Individual awareness at work starts with knowing emergency evacuation procedures for your facility, bomb threat procedure familiarization, and understanding what to do in an active shooter scenario.

While traveling, it's important to blend in with the locals as much as possible, especially when traveling overseas. It's also key to understand the culture and learn basic survival phrases to contact emergency personnel or the local authorities if necessary. And never travel alone; plan and choose safe travel modes and routes.

Terrorists seek opportunities and constantly look for weaknesses. The threat of terrorists attacking our Army communities is real. Attacks have been thwarted by alert individuals who reported suspicious activity, and law enforcement successfully intervened to stop personnel who had intent to harm.

We have all seen firsthand the extent of what terrorists are capable of and while we don't always see or hear about the attacks that were disrupted, it happens, and tragedy is averted.

We all have a role to play in keeping our family, team, community, mission, and nation safe.

Be aware. If you see something, say something.

Thank you for all you do across the globe for our Army. Our Soldiers count on you.