Faces of TSA: Mark Escherich

Wednesday, November 8, 2017
Mark Escherich in uniform with medevac helicopter.

TSA and our nation’s military have a unique relationship. Since our inception in 2001, our ranks have been filled with military veterans.

Our shared mission of keeping Americans safe makes the transition from service member to a TSA employee a natural one. In fact, three of our six senate-confirmed administrators are retired Coast Guard admirals –— including our current administrator David Pekoske, the former vice commandant.

As I look ahead to Veterans Day, a day we set aside to recognize the service of the men and women of the armed forces, I cannot help but to ponder the sense of duty and commitment to national public service that our military veterans possess. This commitment makes veterans an ideal fit in protecting our nation’s transportation systems.

One in five TSA personnel have prior military experience. Recognizing the strong skills former military members have TSA continues to reach out to that talented pool of transitioning Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen.

Veterans serve across TSA in a wide range of positions, including transportation security officers, federal air marshals, explosives specialists, intelligence analysts, and various other mission support positions.

The agency’s Veterans’ Appointment Authority allows TSA to hire qualified veteran candidates for management, administrative, and other professional positions — much like the Veterans’ Recruitment Appointment used by other federal agencies. It has proven to be a useful tool for streamlining the application process for veterans and service members.

The eligibility requirements include: disabled veterans; veterans who served on active duty in the Armed Forces during a war declared by Congress, or in a campaign for which a campaign badge has been authorized.

And although this appointment authority does not apply for transportation security officer positions, I am proud to say TSA provides one of the broadest application of veterans’ preference in the Federal Government as defined in the Aviation and Transportation Security Act.

Watch this video to take an in-depth look at my journey as TSA’s military and Veteran programs manager and my work as a medevac pilot with the D.C. National Guard. It’s been incredibly rewarding serving in both capacities.

If you would like more information on our military and veteran programs, email TSAVets@tsa.dhs.gov or visit the Office of Personnel Management Vet Guide.

Mark Escherich, TSA Guest Blogger

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