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Transportation Security Administration

Faces of TSA: Mark Escherich

Wednesday, November 08, 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 or visit the Office of Personnel Management Vet Guide.

Mark Escherich, TSA Guest Blogger


Submitted by Richard Anderson on

We need more men like Mark in TSA and I hope to see the 20% of the TSA workforce become more like 50%. We need ALOT More Professional's and Dedicated Officer's in these critical roles to protecting our Homeland who truly care and are about Duty, Honor, Service, and Professionalism in their inner most character. I have heard that TSA does not give their employees GS Pay Scale and Full Retirement Benefits identical to the other 21 agencies that recieves such important financial and service oriented support automatically. If this is the case then it is very unethical snd terrible to treat these veteran's, who continue to serve their proud Nation and our people in this way. If TSA truly makes up part of the DHS 22 other Agencies, then every benefit and pay system should run identically the SAME all across the board. I am very Proud of all the men and women in TSA, who chose a career to protect all of us and our Homeland. Lets stop cutting corners and start treating these officers what seems to be long overdue to them. Anything less would be a disservice. The old rhetoric of excuses by Congress can no longer stand anymore because the Threat is out there all around us, its real, its increasing, its evolving, its frequent, and it is a security matter of Life and Death.

Submitted by Max Yost on

As a veteran myself who has done things I can never disclose, this blog post is reprehensible.

Submitted by Chip In Florida on

Thank you for your military service Mr Escherich.

As for your serving with and to the TSA.... did you not pay attention to that Oath you took? How do you get your Oath and the mission creep of the TSA to reconcile in your head? The TSA by it's very mission is not a Constitutional organization, they only thing it is truly Constitutionally allowed to do is disband.

Submitted by Can't @AskTSA on

Why does TSA continue to violate citizen Civil Rights by blocking access to TSA Social Media accounts i.e., @AskTSA and @TSA?