August 24, 2006, - 4:20 pm

Well, It’s About Time: Air Marshals’ Dumb Dress Code Dropped, Other Positive Changes Made

By Debbie Schlussel
Almost 5 years since 9/11, it was well past time for the Federal Air Marshal Service (FAMS) to drop its dress code, requiring Air Marshals to wear suits at all times while traveling, etc.
Today, that finally happened and other changes for the better were also announced by the FAMS. ABC’s Brian Ross and Rhonda Schwartz report:

The elimination of the dress code is one of a number of significant operational changes announced in a message to air marshals today by the director of the Federal Air Marshal Service, Dana Brown. . . .
Effective Sept. l, air marshals will be allowed to “dress at your discretion, recognizing that the manner of dress should allow you to blend in and not direction attention to yourself,” according to Brown’s message.

federalairmarshalbadge.jpg

Brown also said air marshals will be free to select their hotels. Under the previous policy, air marshals were required to stay at the same hotel, where their names were often kept on a roster visible to the public at the front desk.
Brown told the marshals the service is also considering changes in boarding policies, “which unfortunately do not lend themselves to simple solutions or immediate, unilateral decisions.”
Air marshals had complained passengers could easily spot them because they were required to show their badges publicly at the airline check-in counters and were forced to board in advance.
On recent flights out of Washington, D.C., air marshals have been permitted to board with passengers so that they blend in.

We know our friends in the FAMS will be happy about the good news. The dress code and the other conditions now being changed made them more obvious and visible to possible terrorists and others on planes.
Sounds like Dana Brown is a marked improvement over past FAMS leadership. The full Brown announcement/memo with details of all the changes is here.

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6 Responses

This is a good development. It enhances the safety of not only the flying public, but also the air marshalls, themselves.

Thee_Bruno on August 24, 2006 at 5:29 pm

I never knew they wore uniforms. Apparently an air marshall has never been on any of my flights.

freewoman on August 24, 2006 at 6:00 pm

One federal agency drops absurd political correctness. Now if only we could see the rest of Homeland Security institute common sense policies.

NormanF on August 24, 2006 at 6:42 pm

Incredible it’s taken 5 years for someone in federal law enforcement to surface with enough brains to realize the FAMS guys need to “blend in” with the passenger population. Bureaucratic stupidity is so rampant throughout government and most critically federal law enforcement. I’m amazed that earlier directors did not require the marshalls to wear FAMS blazers maybe with “bullseyes” on front and back.
I’m reminded of the moron a few years back who was assistant transportation safety director or something like that when the issue of “arming” airline pilots was being debated. And he opposed it…in fact had the authority to block it for awhile…based on the “logic??” that the airline pilots job was to fly the plane, not ride shotgun…apparently unable to comprehend that it becomes far more difficult to fly a plane with your throat cut.
I attribute most of these anomalies in our federal agencies to the apparent fact that pres Bush…in his effort to be “Mr nice guy” when he took office…retained much of the garbage from his predecessors administration. I think the American people got shortchanged in the deal.

joesixpack31 on August 25, 2006 at 10:53 am

The crybaby Norm Mineta-they-took-my-baseball-bat finally retired.

49smudge on August 25, 2006 at 5:54 pm

This brings to mind: Whatever happened to that post-9/11 proposal to allow pilots to carry guns?
[I remember that pro-2nd Amendment people were in favor of it, but surprisingly, so was Barbara Boxer. The Bush administration was criticized for opposing this proposal, but I later read that they were backing off of their opposition.]

Aakash on August 26, 2006 at 9:52 pm

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