Army Antiterrorism Awareness
Submitted by the Headquarters of the Army Antiterrorism Branch
In 1951, when Douglas MacArthur quoted an early twentieth century ballad observing that “old soldiers never die; they just fade away,” he was closing his career after 52 years of service. Had he known then, he might also have noted the value his experience provided after “fading away.” Like MacArthur, Retired Soldiers remain an integral part of the Army community and we need their experience to help counter today’s threat.
Our Army faces a persistent and constantly adapting terrorist threat which is committed to attacking our military communities and our nation. To counter this threat we must gain and sustain antiterrorism knowledge throughout the Army community. Building antiterrorism awareness is the hallmark of our protection efforts. We must ensure each member of the Army community has the knowledge of the threat and understands personal protection measures to help prevent terrorist acts. We must also seek to make every member of the community, including Retired Soldiers, an active participant in identifying and reporting information that can contribute to preventing a terrorist attack. By doing so we can instill heightened awareness and vigilance to prevent and protect our people, information, and facilities from terrorist activities.
Make no mistake, every member of the Army community plays an important role in preventing terrorist acts – Once a Soldier, Always a Soldier. By extending antiterrorism awareness to our retired community we expand our ability to protect Army communities from terrorist acts. By understanding the indicators of potential terrorist activities, and reporting suspicious behavior to military police or local law enforcement, Retired Soldiers serve as “sensors” (eyes and ears) to enhance and extend the protection posture of our police and security forces.
Terrorists can attack anywhere, anytime – the threat real. Over the recent months the continued threats on social media from the Islamic State of Iraq and The Levant (ISIL; also commonly referred to as ISIS) and their influence on domestic extremists demonstrates the lengths that terrorist groups take to threaten our nation and our military communities. ISIL has also expanded their tactics to include cyber-attacks and attempts to exploit the personal identifiable information (PII) of our military personnel and their families. These risks pertain directly to Retired Soldiers, just as they do the entire Army community.
Because Retired Soldiers frequent Army installations and other related sites (such as Veteran’s facilities), Retired Soldiers are included on the list of potential targets, either directly or by virtue of their proximity to broader terrorist targeting. As such, Retired Soldiers, their surviving spouses, and their children, can help counter the threat and perhaps prevent a terrorist attack through persistent vigilance and a watchful eye. Retired Soldiers, like the rest other Army community members, should know the indicators of suspicious activity or behavior that may be related to terrorist activities and how to report this to military police of local law enforcement. The iWATCH Army program provides useful information on the indicators and what type of information should be reported. iWATCH Army brochures and other useful antiterrorism awareness information (such as the “Precautions for the Use of Social Networking Sites for Antiterrorism Awareness and Community Outreach”) can be found on the Army One Source website (myarmyonesource.com) under Family Programs and Services, go to, iWATCH Army – “See Something Say Something.” This serves as a critical link between the Army antiterrorism program manager and Army families. We’re confident Retired Soldiers will find useful information to sustain their own personal knowledge and awareness of the risk of terrorist threat and individual protective measures.
As the Army gets closer to commemorating the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, we observe the critical importance of our antiterrorism efforts throughout the month of August, which represents the sixth annual Antiterrorism Awareness Month. As the lead for the Army’s antiterrorism program, the Office of Provost Marshal General wishes to thank all Retired Soldiers for their selfless service. At the same time, we seek your continued support to protect and preserve our Army communities in defense of terrorism. Army Strong!