See something, say something is everyone’s responsibility

See something, say something has become a recognizable phrase that’s often uttered by those who work for the Department of Defense. But, it’s more than a phrase, it should become a way of life for those who live and work on Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall or the National Capital Region.

“If it doesn’t feel right, it’s better to be safe than sorry,” said Malanya Westmoreland, JBM-HH emergency management specialist. “If you see someone acting suspiciously, taking pictures outside places they shouldn’t be taking pictures . taking pictures to access entries to the installation (or) how the installation is vetting personnel coming (say something). If I see something out of the ordinary, let the security person at the gate know. Tell them, ‘hey, I saw this I’m not sure what’s going on, you might want to investigate, check it out.’ Give them the five Ws.”

Although things have changed in certain parts of the world, it has been business as usual on JBM-HH. One change has been access and who has to show identification to gain access to the base. When entering the base, everyone 16 years and older must show a DOD ID card. If the driver or passenger do not have one he or she will be referred to the JBM-HH Visitors Center and will have to go through the search lane, said Westmoreland.

When a person goes to the Visitors Center, they show their ID and are usually given a pass and they must disclose their purpose for coming on the installation, said Westmoreland.

“For example, contractors who don’t have a DOD ID will go to the Visitors Center to be vetted,” she said.

Although extra security has been added, Westmoreland pointed out that it’s vital that everyone on base remain vigilant.

She said that everyone should be mindful of making sure their ID card isn’t visible because that can make them become a target.

“Be mindful with your ID when you leave the installation going to lunch,” she said about Soldiers and DOD employees. “(Secure) your ID, you never know who’s watching you.”

When Soldiers or DA civilians are on or off the base, Westmoreland said they should also practice operational security and not talk about what’s going on at work or about where they work.

“If we see someone who is not exercising those attributes of OPSEC we have to remind them about OPSEC,” Westmoreland said.

She added that everyone should be aware of false information on social media. Westmoreland said it’s important for individuals to conduct research and compare news from different outlets for validity because a lot of people have been phishing for information.

“Monitor your organizational social media platforms for any derogatory or threatening language related to the current situation that was/is directed at NCR units, bases, facilities or personnel -military or civilian,” said Vihn Cayton, the JBM-HH antiterrorism officer.

Although it might seem to be cliché, everyone has a role to play in OPSEC — so please, if “you see something, say something.”

Pentagram Editor Catrina Francis can be reached at