TSA Officers Don New Uniforms And Badges
Starting Sept. 11, 2008, transportation security officers at airport checkpoints nationwide began wearing new uniforms and badges, according to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). The new uniforms and badges are another step in the ongoing evolution of TSA, an agency that was created in the wake of Sept. 11, 2001 to federalize airport security.
The most striking change is the color of the shirt – from white to blue – and a gold metal badge will replace the embroidered patch. This will better align the officer’s uniform with the other security professional positions in the Department of Homeland Security.
Just as the job classification and title changed from “Screener” to “Transportation Security Officer” in October 2005, this new uniform represents the highly skilled and tested nature of TSA’s frontline workforce. Nearly 50 percent of TSA’s current employees joined the organization during the agency’s stand-up in 2002, motivated by a call to action to do everything within their power to never let another 9/11 happen again.
“While the uniform and badge represent the professionalism of our officers, it is what’s behind the cloth and metal that embodies the spirit of TSA – a focused, intelligent and dedicated workforce that lives the agency’s post 9/11 mission: ‘not on my watch,'” says TSA Administrator Kip Hawley.
As part of TSA’s Checkpoint Evolution, a transformational culture shift designed to maximize the human element of security while also leveraging technological innovations, every transportation security officer and all of their managers will participate in two days of training. This training incorporates information sharing, more advanced explosives detection skills, and ways to engage with passengers that promote a calmer checkpoint environment and better security result. It uses the physical checkpoint to TSA’s advantage to improve security.
The new uniform and badge grew out of a recommendation from TSA’s National Advisory Council (NAC), a formal organization of transportation security officers, assistant federal security directors and security managers that meet quarterly to discuss issues that directly impact the frontline workforce and provide regular, valued input to TSA leadership. The new uniform addresses officers’ concerns of utility, respect, and confidence, and will stand as a readily identifiable symbol of TSA’s security mission and officers’ role of keeping the traveling public safe.