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FLEOA FAM Agency President Message

FLEOA FAMS Membership:

 

As you are all well aware (as am I due to the hundreds of calls, texts and emails that I have received), CNN recently presented a biased, prejudicial and complete misrepresentation of the flying Federal Air Marshal. It appeared that the intent of the original story was the tragedy that we have all endured with the suicides of our Brothers and Sisters. I am intimately familiar with this, as I have personally endured this with a teammate at the Los Angeles Field Office and have attended way too many of these funerals as your elected FLEOA FAMS Agency President.

 

I was somewhat stunned by the "representatives” that were chosen to apparently speak on behalf of the flying Federal Air Marshals. The "retired” Federal Air Marshal that was interviewed brought back many bad memories to both myself, and all the FAMs who were at the LA Field Office during the tragic suicide of our LA FAM Brother years ago.

 

Let’s go back in history for those who are unaware of the past. During the time of the tragedy at Los Angeles, the "retired” FAM featured on CNN was part of a FAMS CIRP team that was sent from Headquarters to talk with, and supposedly console, the FAMs from Los Angeles after our Brother FAM took his life.

 

Well, something completely different happened.

 

This "retired” FAM came in and made every single one of us feel like complainers, whiners and malcontents. In fact, when this "retired” FAM was done with us, Headquarters initiated an administrative investigation on the Los Angeles FAM teammates of the FAM who committed suicide (my self included).

 

And investigated for what? Investigated because his Brother Federal Air Marshal teammates were all too "tight” and the majority of us rode motorcycles together on our off time. So "someone” alleged we were an outlaw biker gang! If it weren’t at such a tragic time, it would have been comical. So, when the actual flying FAMs were trying to deal with the tragedy of their Brother’s death, we all had to endure this investigation and potential loss of our jobs.

 

Well, one can only surmise who initiated that investigation.

 

For those of you who that are unaware of who has actually stood up for the rights of the flying FAM and didn’t just decide to have a voice when it was safe to do so, please ask those who have been around and get some understanding. Ask where were these people who are alleged "FAM representatives” in 2002, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011, etc.? What did they stand up for? How did they help the flying FAM? All legitimate and fair questions. When you get the answer to that, please let me know. I, along with dozens of others, were in the trenches fighting on behalf of the flying FAM and to keep our jobs and they were nowhere to be found.

 

I’m not new to this, I didn’t self appoint to my current position as FLEOA FAM Agency President. I was elected by Federal Air Marshals since the beginning and each and every FLEOA FAM Representative has the same thing in common- they are hard charging, dedicated, loyal, honorable men and women who know what comes first – MISSION.

 

We, as your FLEOA representatives have fought since 2002 for your rights, dignity and respect as a Federal Air Marshal. I would NEVER respond to a question that disparages my Brothers and Sisters as the "retired” FAM " responded to it during the CNN interview.

 

CNN Reporter: " Would I -sitting on a plane - want a STRESSED out Federal Air Marshal potentially SUICIDAL air marshal on that plane with me?

 

"Retired” FAM” – YOU WOULD NOT”.

 

What? This is a representative for the flying Federal Air Marshal? That would be the day that I would let some reporter denigrate the men and women who dedicate their lives to the protection of this country and integrity of aviation security. I guarantee that the reporter would have a complete understanding that he would be BLESSED to have a Federal Air Marshal on his flight and so would his family.

 

And for another FAM "representative” to comment that a Federal Air Marshal who apparently had an accidental discharge was "crying out for help?” You know, even if we all knew that was the case or not (which I have no clue, I am not a psychiatrist), you don’t throw fellow Brothers and Sisters under the bus to make a point. If that FAM felt that way, it was his/her call to announce that to the general public via CNN.

 

The way FLEOA and I have addressed our memberships issues are very simple - we stand up and attack those who treat us unfairly and with disrespect. NEVER do we, or would we, say that our brave Men and Women perform a "pointless mission”, as was stated on CNN.

 

FLEOA confronts Senior TSA/FAM management who is the reason that Federal Air Marshals work insane schedules, have a stunningly high divorce rate, barely see their families and don’t carry long arms during VIPR or surge operations. I, and dozens of other FLEOA FAM representatives, fought against incompetent management during our entire careers as Federal Air Marshals – not just when it was convenient and safe to do so.

 

And you know what, we are still here and will continue to fight. What FLEOA has fought for, continues to fight for and has accomplished is well documented. Ask yourself the following:

 

Are you required to wear a suit?

 

FLEOA VICTORY

 

Do you have to be clean-shaven and maintain a military haircut?

 

FLEOA VICTORY

 

Do FAM "representatives” have the ability to actually speak out on issues to the media without fear or repercussion?

 

FLEOA VICTORY

 

Do you have to pre-board in front of all the passengers?

 

FLEOA VICTORY

 

The reversal of the recently implemented inane TSA policy that allowed KNIVES to be taken on a plane?

 

FLEOA VICTORY

 

These were real issues that FLEOA has won, these aren’t pretend issues and wins, these are only a fraction of FLEOA has done for the flying FAM.

 

And I will tell you something the FAMS Director, Deputy Director or the other "managers” (not leaders – managers) at the top won’t say. I am truly blessed, honored and humbled with the opportunity to represent my Brother and Sister Federal Air Marshals – the true patriots.

 

The flying FAM, without a doubt, is the most unique breed in law enforcement. Federal Air Marshal’s are masters of our trade - NOBODY does what we do. NOBODY can do what we do. We have the toughest and the best weapons training and shooters anywhere in law enforcement. Federal Air Marshals are mission oriented, multi-faceted (as witnessed by numerous surge activities such a Hurricane Katrina) and dedicated to one mantra "never again – won’t happen on my watch”.

 

We are the ultimate Patriots, we stepped up when our country needed us after the horror of 9/11, and we continue to stand up on behalf of our country that we love.

 

So take a minute and look at those credentials and badge that you carry everyday. Remember the pride you had when you EARNED that title of FEDERAL AIR MARSHAL and how much that meant to you. Hold your head high and remember why we are here when others let their memories fade. We have a purpose, we have a mission and we will be successful in spite of inept management. FLEOA will persevere to get these policies changed and not stop until they are – as FLEOA has always done. As Federal Air Marshals, we will not let these animals take another plane, that is what we believe and that is what we will continue to do.

 

Stay safe,

 

Frank Terreri

FLEOA Federal Air Marshal Agency President