The Federal Air Marshal Service (FAMS) does everything from in-flight security to responding to threats within the transportation domain around the world. ClearanceJobs talked with Aaron, a Senior Federal Air Marshal, to learn more about his career with FAMS and the wide variety of work he’s done over the years.

After completing graduate school, Aaron knew he wanted to do something noble and serve his country. He applied for both the FBI and FAMS. “FAMS came up first, and it had better pay and was a cooler job,” he said. “I did some research and saw that Federal Air Marshals are proficient at firearms, and they do a lot of training, and that they traveled a lot.” Aaron has been with FAMS since 2010.

His first assignment was in the New York field office, where he spent a lot of his time working in in-flight security flying around the world. While he got to visit a lot of interesting places over his years in that position, one of the best parts of the job was the camaraderie he developed with the rest of his team.

On-the-Ground Law Enforcement Presence

After seven years there, Aaron moved into working with the Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response team (VIPR). VIPR teams are deployed in cooperation with local authorities to provide law enforcement presence at a range of transportation venues to include train stations, airports and seaports.  VIPR Teams are also deployed during specific alert periods, special events, and in emergency situations, including natural disasters.

“I was able to go to Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria, when the hurricane devastated the island,” said Aaron. “We were there to give humanitarian aid to local agencies however we could. And that same year, I was also deployed to Houston after Hurricane Harvey.”

Training to go above and beyond

As an applicant, Aaron was impressed by the amount of training required of Federal Air Marshals, and his experience after twelve years on duty has proven that’s still the case. “I think we have more training requirements than any other law enforcement agency,” said Aaron. “We’re really good at what we do. I’ve had the opportunity to spread my wings and grow as an individual and an Air Marshal.”

All the training has also meant that Aaron is prepared to work in a wide variety of law enforcement situations, doing everything from securing the nation’s transportation systems to providing humanitarian aid in response to natural disasters. “There are a lot of opportunities within the Federal Air Marshal Service, and you never get bored!”

“I think any young man or woman interested in federal law enforcement should take a look at the Federal Air Marshal Service,” said Aaron. “We’re well-trained in a lot of different roles and the opportunities to grow professionally and personally are vast. At the end of the day, I can sit there and say that I think I truly made a difference today.”

Candidates interested in learning more about a career with FAMS and the jobs available can visit their website to see job openings and learn more about becoming a Federal Air Marshal.


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