Uniformed Advisor Program strengthens mission and advances careers

Thursday, January 7, 2021
Uniformed Advisors Cavel Malcolm and Achelet Petit-Homme

The year Cavel Malcolm and Achelet Petit-Homme spent as Uniformed Advisors (UA) fast-tracked their TSA careers and changed their lives.

Designed to cultivate career progression and open communication between the field and Headquarters, the UA acts as a subject matter specialist, advisor and conduit of information between policy makers and field professionals at over 400 airports who execute TSA’s mission.

“The Uniformed Advisor Program not only provides field employees the opportunity to gain experience in TSA’s HQ environment, but also adds critical field contribution in the review and analysis of policies procedures, internal documents and talking points pertaining to ongoing TSA initiatives and engagements,” said Executive Assistant Administrator for Enterprise Support Kimberly Walton.

Cavel photo

Cavel Malcolm was a member of the first group of advisors from 2018-2019. She heard about the program from Executive Assistant Administrator for Security Operations Darby LaJoye during a local Town Hall, applied and was accepted. During her year in the Security Operations program office, LaGuardia Airport’s Supervisory Transportation Security Officer (STSO) Malcolm originated the STSO conference calls—monthly calls from the advisors to field STSOs— that continue to provide meaningful dialogue between the two.

While attending meetings in her role as UA for Security Operations, Malcolm saw robust communication among HQ leadership, but acknowledged something was missing. “STSOs, the ones responsible for carrying out procedures were not included in the communication process,” said Malcolm. “I wanted to bridge the gap between HQ and the frontline leader, so the field leadership could ask questions and analyze how [procedures] were going to work at their location.”

“Cavel’s hard work and commitment to the Uniformed Advisor position paved the way for future Uniformed Advisors and greatly opened up lines of communication with the field,” said LaJoye, reflecting on Malcolm’s accomplishments as a UA.

Malcolm leveraged her UA liaison experience into her new position as a Program Analyst for Small Hub Airports. “I’m assigned 25 airports and get to connect directly with Federal Security Directors (FSDs) and other leaders in the field,” explained Malcolm.

“We are very lucky to now have her on our Security Operations HQ team,” said LaJoye.

Achelet Petit-Homme, an STSO at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport was promoted to Program Analyst with Requirements & Capabilities Analysis/Field Information Systems at the conclusion of his detail in October.

Petit-Homme photo

Petit-Homme was Acting Transportation Security Manager (TSM) the day he saw the UA job announcement advertised and saw it as a step forward in his career growth. As an advisor to EAA Walton in Enterprise Support, Petit-Homme provided field experience, conducted pilot programs and site visits at airports and Federal Air Marshal offices.

“Ach was an invaluable asset to the Enterprise Support team during his Uniformed Advisor detail,” said Walton. “His wealth of knowledge, field experience, and most recognizable positive attitude resulted in great collaborations across Enterprise Support, as well as the agency as a whole.”

“My management skills have increased tremendously,” said Petit-Homme who begin his TSA career in 2016.  “As a UA, I had the pleasure of networking with TSA HQ personnel with dynamic skills and in my new role, I will be continuing work with those individuals on projects within the Field

A relocation subsidy is offered to selected candidates as they transition from the field to HQ for year-long assignments in program offices. 

“Sometimes you have to be willing to take on risk to advance your career, dreams and aspirations in order to grow as a person, “said Petit-Homme, a proud immigrant from Haiti. “Be willing to invest and bet on yourself.”