It’s easy to become
complacent as we go through the mundane routine of our daily lives, both at
work and at home. However, as you might already know, complacency kills.
Complacency causes us to carelessly dispose of trash containing personal
identifiable information, as well as leave our vehicles, computers and common
access cards unsecured. Although we know we should shred all paper, lock all
doors and keep identification cards within our possession at all times, we
sometimes become too comfortable within our environments.
Each time we travel on a commercial
aircraft, we are reminded if the cabin loses pressure, we must first put on our
own oxygen masks before assisting others, including children and loved ones. If
we do not secure ourselves first, our effectiveness in helping others becomes
Consider this analogy as you
go about each day-to-day activity. Implementing protective measures against
terrorism within your own lives will not only save you, but it will save the
lives of your family members, service members and community members.
Defensive awareness and personal
security are the responsibilities of everyone assigned to Fort Riley. We are a
highly valuable, yet vulnerable, asset to our military community.
As we recognize August as
Antiterrorism Awareness Month, we are not only focusing on the traditional
organizations or ideas of terrorism, such as the Taliban or al Qaeda. Our definition
of terrorists includes anyone with an agenda to disrupt our normal ways of life
within the U.S.
If you haven’t already
begun to do so, start now in incorporating protective measures, as well as
proven security habits that can reduce the possibility of becoming a target of
Some defensive measures include
traveling in groups of two or more, carrying a cell phone, maintaining
situational awareness, paying attention to your surroundings and taking precautions
with social media networks. Secure yourself.
The Joint Chief of Staff Self
Guide to Antiterrorism June 10, 2013, provides us with a security checklist for
both stateside and abroad.
GENERAL SECURITY CHECKLIST
• Keep a low profile. Your dress,
conduct, and mannerisms should not attract attention. Make an effort to blend
into the local environment. Avoid wearing expensive jewelry. Stay away from
civil disturbances and demonstrations.
• Be unpredictable. Vary daily
routines, such as your route to and from work and the time you leave and return
home. Do not exercise at the same time and place each day. Never exercise alone
on deserted streets or country roads.
• Be alert for anything suspicious
or out of place. Do not give personal information over the telephone. If you think
you are being followed, go to a pre-selected secure area, such as a military
post or police station. Immediately report the incident to the military police,
security forces or law enforcement agencies. In overseas areas without such
agencies, report suspicious incidents to the security officer or the military attaché
at the U.S. Embassy. Instruct your family and associates not to provide
strangers with information about you or your family.
• Report all suspicious persons
loitering near your office or in unauthorized areas. Attempt to provide a complete
description of the person or vehicle to police or security personnel.
• Advise associates or
family members of your destination and anticipated time of arrival when leaving
the office or home.
• Do not open doors to strangers,
and report unsolicited contacts to authorities. Refuse to meet with strangers outside
your work place.
• Pre-program cell phones and
memorize or write down key phone numbers – office, home, police, security, et
• When overseas, always know
the location of the nearest U.S. Embassy, Consulate, or military organization.
• Be cautious about giving out
information regarding family travel plans or security measures and procedures.
• When overseas, learn and practice
a few key phrases in the local language, such as “I need a police officer or
HOME AND FAMILY SECURITY
You and your family members
should always practice basic personal security precautions.
Familiarize your family with
the local terrorist and criminal threat and regularly review protective
measures and techniques. Ensure everyone in your family knows what to do in
case of emergency.
TIPS FOR THE FAMILY AT HOME
• Restrict the possession of
house keys. Change locks if keys are lost or stolen and when moving into a
previously occupied residence.
• Lock all entrances at night,
including the garage. Keep the house locked, even if you are at home.
• Destroy all envelopes or other
items that show your name, rank, or other personal information. Remove names and
rank from mailboxes.
• Maintain friendly
relations with your neighbors.
• Do not draw attention to
yourself; be considerate of neighbors.
• Keep yourself informed via
media and internet regarding potential threats.
• Develop an emergency plan
and an emergency kit, including a flashlight, battery operated radio, first-aid
kit including latex gloves, and copies of important personal documents
including key points of contact.
• Be alert to public works crews
and other individuals requesting access to your residence; check their
identities through a peephole or contact the parent company to verify employee
status before allowing entry.
• Be cautious about
peddlers and strangers, especially those offering free samples. Do not admit
salespersons or poll takers into your home.
• Watch for unfamiliar vehicles
cruising or parked frequently in the area, particularly if one or more
occupants remain in the vehicle for extended periods.
• Write down license plate numbers,
makes, models, and colors of suspicious vehicles. Note descriptions of
• Report any suspicious videotaping/photography
or unusual accommodation requests.
• Report any unattended bags
• Treat any inquiries from strangers
concerning the whereabouts or activities of family members with suspicion.
• Report all suspicious activity
to military police, security forces or local law enforcement as appropriate.
To comment on this article or
to suggest a topic for Community Corner, email email@example.com
or visit my Facebook page at www.facebook.com/fortrileygc.