Life as a Federal Air Marshal – Krystal Brown

Monday, September 20, 2021
Krystal Brown photo

From serving on the U.S. Capitol Police to TSA, Krystal Brown has made law enforcement the focus of her professional career. In 2006, Brown stepped down from the Capitol Police to join the Federal Air Marshal Service (FAMS), and now she’s encouraging others to consider a career as a FAM with TSA.  

“It’s a great mission and a great opportunity to serve the country,” said Brown.

After several promotions, she is currently the Assistant Supervisory Air Marshal in Charge at TSA’s Transportation Security Operations Center just outside Washington, D.C., which Brown said is “a very interesting place to work.” She said, “If anything is happening in the transportation domain related to security, they know about it.”

FAMS is now hiring, inviting interested job seekers to apply through this job opportunity announcement. Brown encourages qualified candidates, especially women, to give FAMS a try.

FAMS at FLL photo
New York Field Office Federal Air Marshals with TSA Inspector Jenise Salazzar (center) overlooking a checkpoint at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. (Photo by Tom Kelly)

“In FAMS, there are opportunities for anyone who wants to enter federal law enforcement,” she said. “As our service is maturing, we are learning and growing. We’re trying to recruit a more diverse workforce. It’s nice to see the more seasoned FAMs working with the younger FAMs, because they’re going to pass on their institutional knowledge. It’s the new ones who are going to continue growing the agency and moving it forward. If you’re a person who wants to grow and engage in your career, then we have a place for you. I want people to be a part of that.”

New recruits will go through a 16-week training program, which includes firearms, self-defense and mission training on an aircraft. The eligibility requirements to be hired as a new FAM include being a U.S. citizen or national, 21 to 37 years old (certain exceptions apply to those over 37) and a valid driver’s license.

Brown wants applicants to know they should come in physically fit. “Like any academy, you’re going to be doing physical activities,” she noted. “If health and wellness are your forte, this will be a good fit.”

When asked about the most important traits applicants should bring to the job, Brown replied, “Integrity. That’s a no-brainer. Someone who can be autonomous but also work with a team will thrive. You have to be flexible, especially as your schedule is unpredictable. Like most in law enforcement, especially in [TSA], we’re not a 9-to-5 job. Our schedules vary.”

Brown said the opportunity as a FAM to travel has been amazing, and she greatly appreciates the opportunity to mentor FAMs interested in advancing their careers and watch them grow.

“I look forward to watching our agency grow and watching the next generation of FAMs come up,” she said. “To see what they will do and where they want [TSA] to go.”

Brown, though, wants to stay around for a while, saying, “I’m not looking to go anywhere else. I’ve enjoyed my time here, and I’m still enjoying my time.”