Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

September 3, 2009

“What is my place in homeland security, and the place of homeland security in my world?”

Filed under: General Homeland Security,Organizational Issues — by Christopher Bellavita on September 3, 2009

One of my colleagues asks his students to answer the question posed in the title of this post.  The assignment is difficult in at least two ways.  The question requires a reflection not typically encountered in their day to day homeland security work.  The students — experienced, erudite and articulate — are also asked to begin their response with a slide show.

Most of the students come from organizations caressed by the Angel of Death-By-PowerPoint.  So answering a profound question seriously, engagingly, and with a significant verbal constraint adds extra degrees of difficulty.

Mark is today’s guest blogger.  He works for the TSA.  [Update: “Mark” is Mark A. Holmstrup.  He is a Supervisory Field Attorney for TSA.]  Mark’s response to the question follows immediately after today’s public service message.

[Start Today’s Public Service Message]
If you have not yet contributed to the second Quadrennial Homeland Security Review Dialogue, please consider doing so, and click on this link to get started.  The Dialogue will allow you to reflect on “your place in homeland security and the place of homeland security in your world.”  And you can use words. No powerpoint required.
[End Today’s Public Service Message]

Now back to our regularly scheduled post.


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Comment by William R. Cumming

September 3, 2009 @ 5:48 am

WOW! Mark looks ready for the bigtime NOW!
Hoping someone has some answers but sometimes their are no single “right” answers but many! And sometimes many “wrong” answers.

Thanks Mark and Chris for the post!

I still believe I fall in the more questions than answers category!

Good Luck to Mark and his fellow students. Yes this field is not going away anytime soon!

Comment by Quin

September 3, 2009 @ 8:17 am

That. Is. Awesome.

Brings to mind the powerpoint of the late Captain Travis Patriquin.


Simple, borderline hilarious, puckish and true.

Comment by J.

September 3, 2009 @ 11:45 am

Mark needs to let people wear shoes through security checkpoints, carry regular-sized toothpaste and shampoo containers in their travel bags, be able to carry laptops and iPods without fear of seizure, and carry clear-plastic water bottles from the terminal to the plane.

Then people will like Mark and smile back at him…

Comment by Pat Longstaff

September 3, 2009 @ 12:20 pm

..and if Mark figures it all out we hope he will tell the rest of us with similar graphics. There may be a place for Mark at Disney now that they own Marvel Comics.

Comment by Christopher Bellavita

September 3, 2009 @ 7:21 pm

Good eye, Quin, Capt. Patriquin’s “How to win in Anbar” is the spiritual inspiration for Mark’s creation.

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