Military and Corrections Personnel Fulfill a Higher Mission of Safety and Security

By Leone, Lisa; Clayton, Susan L. | Corrections Today, October 2007 | Go to article overview

Military and Corrections Personnel Fulfill a Higher Mission of Safety and Security


Leone, Lisa, Clayton, Susan L., Corrections Today


ACA's Congress of Correction General Session brought together corrections professionals from all facets of the industry. Retired Gen. Richard Myers, who served as the 15th chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, gave the keynote address, which focused on U.S. security. Myers said that his goals and reasons for serving were similar to those of corrections professionals, noting that he is fulfilled in ways other than earning a lot of money because his work in the military is about serving something bigger than himself. "You advance based on what you can contribute to the mission, not on your race or your gender or your religious beliefs ... There is no tolerance for discrimination," he added.

Myers offered many of his personal opinions on the United States' international affairs, particularly the military activity in Iraq and Afghanistan. He said that lost in the "noise" of U.S. politics is the real threat citizens face from violent extremism. Myers said his tenure as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from October 2001 to September 2005 was defined by the events of Sept. 11, 2001.

In regard to recent military strategy, Myers said that the U.S. has built up a strong defense through international collaboration. Yet, he said that it is still necessary to use offensive military action. "No defense, no matter how tall you build your walls or how much barbed wire you use, there is no way to really defend against ruthless people." He said that to win, patience, will and resolve are key.

Myers said he believes that there is a pretty good situation in Afghanistan despite the recent spike in violence. He also said that we have limited Al Qaeda's movement and, therefore, its ability to recruit. He said, in Iraq, success will depend on security and political and economic stability, and at this point, political stability is the most important element. …

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