As the twentieth anniversary of 9/11 approaches, we are reminded of the resilience of our country and the significance of our mission here at the Department of Homeland Security. Reflecting on the pain we still feel twenty years after that tragic day, we are reminded of the words from then-President George W. Bush: “These acts shatter steel, but they cannot dent the steel of American resolve.” And those powerful words ring true at DHS as we face every threat, no matter how daunting the challenge. The strength of DHS is derived from the resolve of its members, which is evident in the Office of Intelligence and Analysis (I&A).
I&A and its diverse workforce work to gather, analyze, and disseminate intelligence products for its customers, including federal, state, local, tribal, or private partners. The workforce itself is comprised of people with backgrounds in academia, law enforcement, military, and intelligence – many of whom felt called to serve after the events of 9/11. Whether they were drawn to our Nation’s capital or the battlefields of the Middle East in the wake of the terrorist attacks, these brave individuals have continued to dedicate their careers to the defense of the homeland. Tim Bailey is one such I&A team member, who was commissioned by the U.S. Marine Corps in 1984 and was deployed for two tours in Afghanistan. “Simply put, it was an honor to serve in Afghanistan – both in response to the attacks on our country on 9/11 and to help the people of Afghanistan,” Tim explained. After leaving the armed forces, Tim was recruited by DHS and in 2009 joined I&A, where he currently serves as the Field Operations Division (FOD) Regional Director for New England. Tim draws on his experience in the military to elevate his performance at I&A. “My work in the military conditioned me to focus on the mission and the ‘welfare of the troops,’” he explained. His dedication to the Department and the Nation illustrates the unbreakable American spirit that is prevalent across DHS.
Much like Tim, I&A veteran Victor Saremi felt a calling to serve his country with the U.S. Marines following the 9/11 attacks. Although he officially joined the service in 2002, Victor was deployed to Afghanistan in 2010 to provide signals intelligence (SIGINT) collection support as part of a U.S. Marines infantry unit. In the words of Victor, a career in public service was an easy decision after his military service, especially after learning “how much time, effort, and devotion it takes to ensure the United States is safe and protected from the many threats we face” Currently Victor serves as an integral member of FOD as an Intelligence Officer for the state of Maine. “I knew that if I continued on my career path, utilizing the knowledge and training that the military provided me, I would make the best use of my skills by being a contributing member of society,” Victor explained. His role as the IO for Maine allows him to give back to his home state and provide intelligence support for local partners in the state, all of which is critical to our DHS mission.
Tim and Victor, are just two of the many veterans that work on behalf of I&A. Their dedication to serving our country has blended with their love for not only I&A, but the Department as a whole. Today, the mission of I&A is as critical as ever, and its team remains dedicated to evolving in order to stay ahead of the ever-changing threat landscape.
The twentieth anniversary of 9/11 provides each DHS employee opportunity to reaffirm DHS’s commitment to our critical mission. Our Nation will always remember the losses incurred on 9/11, just as I&A and DHS will remain ever dedicated to safeguarding the American people, our homeland, and our values.