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Balancing Security and Customer Service

Spotlight On

Brian Vallely is a Transportation Security Officer at Boston's Logan International Airport and a 10-year veteran of TSA.Brian Vallely is a Transportation Security Officer at Boston’s Logan International Airport and a 10-year veteran of TSA. Before joining TSA, Vallely served as a collegiate administrator for nearly three decades and was a nationally recognized baseball coach and professional baseball scout. He has worked in many positions at the airport from the checkpoint to baggage, but the position where he really excels is engaging passengers while checking their identification and boarding passes.

Why does what you do matter? In most cases, the officer checking identification is the passenger’s first encounter with a TSA employee. There are so many factors involved in this role, from verifying the authenticity of each individual’s boarding pass and personal credentials to communicating any potential anomalies and setting a positive tone for the security experience. Quite simply, as the Travel Document Checker (TDC), I am the first face of TSA to the traveling public.

What do you find most rewarding about this role? I have had the good fortune to serve on the frontlines of counterterrorism and interact with the public for more than 10 years. I take a lot of pride in doing my part to humanize every passenger engagement experience. One of my greatest assets is the ability to find a balance between disseminating security information while engaging in thoughtful brief conversations with travelers and to be a resource for any questions they might have.

Why is the TDC Officer so important to TSA and its mission?

I have an important role to play in setting the tone for every passenger’s travel experience. The job requires knowledge of the position, a positive presence, poise and personal empathy. By presenting a polite and professional demeanor I do my part to foster a more pleasant experience for everyone.

I have one of the most important jobs out there. I am entrusted with guarding people’s most valuable treasures – their loved ones. I can’t think of a more honorable endeavor where I can and do make a difference on a daily basis.

From the Office of Strategic Communications/Public Affairs

Latest revision: 01 April 2013