By John Seman
Special to GUIDON
In our continuing support of promoting Antiterrorism month, I would like to concentrate on AT awareness for the entire family. Twice a month I conduct an AT level 1 brief for those who have recently been hired in the GS/NAF system here at Fort Leonard Wood. The majority of the people I speak with are retired military with the rest being family members and people with no prior military affiliation.
I give the most attention to the family members and those with no prior military affiliation because the vast majority of them have never heard of or been briefed on antiterrorism. The only thing that they know about AT is what they see on TV watching reruns of Jack Bauer saving the world in 24 hours.
AT awareness is not just for Service Members or Department of Defense civilian personnel. AT awareness is designed to be briefed to everyone who is associated with the DoD, this also includes family members. Standard 25 of Army Regulation 525-13, Antiterrorism, states that all Soldiers, Department of the Army civilians and family members 14 years and older traveling OCONUS on official business or leave will receive AT Level I training within 12 months of travel.
Standard 29 of the same AR requires that the unit conduct Area of Responsibility-specific AT Awareness training to all Army personnel to include Family members 14 years and older. This training is so that all personal are informed on what to look out for and how to protect themselves while traveling.
So, why is this training or information not being conducted or forwarded to family members? Was the service member informed of the regulatory requirements? If they were maybe the service member thinks it’s not that important. Or they don’t want their spouse to worry while they travel. No matter what the reason is, this is important information that should be shared with the entire family. It is up to each and every service member to ensure that they follow these regulations and get their family involved.
So, before you plan your next trip or as soon as you receive those PCS orders sending you overseas, remember to stop by your unit’s S2/AT officer/AT coordinator to receive your AT level 1 briefing and AOR-specific training. Who knows, you just might be the next Jack Bauer and save the day.
(Editor’s note: Seman is an Antiterrorism Contract officer.)