Let’s show our security guards a little respect

Lt. Col. Erik Daiga
415th Base Support Battalion commander

My number one mission priority as the 415th Base Support Battalion commander is to protect the Soldiers, Airmen, civilian employees and family members who live and work on 15 Army installations throughout the KMC.
Helping to accomplish this mission are more than 600 dedicated, but too often unappreciated, contracted security guards.

In today’s world of relentless terrorist attacks, these brave men and women put their lives on the line every single day to help safeguard our installations. All they ask from us in return is a little respect.

Webster’s defines respect as “the willingness to show consideration or appreciation.” How does this definition apply to our security guards?
First, when you drive up to one of our 28 Army installation access gates in the KMC have your ID card in hand, removed from any plastic cover, and ready to present to the guard.

Second, if the guard directs you to a vehicle search area – cooperate immediately. You’ll keep the line of cars behind you moving faster and will eliminate any suspicion of your intent. After you pull into the vehicle search area turn off your engine and do exactly what the guard tells you to do. If directed, you must open and close your own vehicle doors, hood and trunk.
The guard will not do this for you.

Finally, under no circumstance, should you make jokes about bombs or terrorists. Treat the vehicle search area just as you would an airport security check point.

Recently, we’ve had several incidents of drivers telling the guards as a joke that they have bombs in their vehicles or that they are terrorists. Such statements are not jokes.

If you joke about carrying a bomb or being a terrorist, you will be detained. The guard will close the search area with your vehicle inside, law enforcement officials will be called, and you will be charged.

Also, your commander or supervisor will be immediately notified. Other actions you may face include civil prosecution, judicial and non-judicial punishment, as well as being barred from entering KMC Army installations in the future.

The contracted guards are not law enforcement officials, but they have direct communications with our military and security police who will quickly respond.

Passing a friendly greeting and an occasional thank you to our guards doesn’t hurt either. The next life these guards save may be yours. If we didn’t have contracted guards, our Soldiers and Airmen would be guarding our gates, detracting from their ability to train and perform their wartime mission.
Whether it’s a Pond guard, a Bundeswehr Soldier, an American Soldier or an American Airman greeting you at our installation gates, show them the respect and cooperation they deserve.