QUANTICO, Va. – Brittani Blanchard trained with the Prevention, Assistance and Response (PAR) cadre assigned to military installations across the country – including Hawaii, Alaska and Guam – for the first time and envisioned the PAR program’s future impact upon U.S. military and national security.
The Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency (DCSA) PAR office chief for the National Capital Region collaborated with her counterparts throughout intensive training sessions at the PAR Cadre Training Seminar held at DCSA’s Quantico headquarters from Aug. 7-10.
Now, Blanchard – a four-year DCSA employee who is “very passionate about behavioral health education, training and awareness” – looks forward to a future of PAR coordination with her colleagues as they leverage new and emerging capabilities to provide military commanders and their civilian equivalent leaders with an understanding of overall risks within their organizations as well as options to care for their personnel that could result in a significantly reduced risk of insider threat and workplace violence.
“This is an opportunity to meet our teammates as we practice and see what it takes to be successful in the position as a PAR office chief or as a PAR coordinator,” said Blanchard, who also serves as PAR office chief for the DCSA Mid-Atlantic Region. “It’s crucial for our entire team to be level set and on the same page regarding what the Prevention, Assistance and Response program is, the tools and assessments we are using, and how we should execute the program across DOD at our respective installations. This unification entails an effective communication strategy to convey to our various communities – military members, civilians, and their families – what we're doing. As PAR coordinators, we have diverse backgrounds and expertise, but we have knowledge, expertise and resources in common that are essential in order to effectively execute this hard mission.”
The intense training for the PAR program – a newly formed capability under the direction of the DOD Insider Threat Management and Analysis Center (DITMAC) – prepared the new PAR coordinators to fulfill their roles supporting commanders and equivalent civilian leaders on installations and in the military community by conducting threat assessment and management, primarily focused in the area of workplace violence.
“PAR is more than counterintelligence and security. You’ve got to be able to talk with the experts who are looking at suicide prevention and sexual assault prevention and response – all of those different aspects – and understand what recommendations can be made to help people get into those capabilities that can help them,” DITMAC Director James Shappell advised the PAR audience. “That’s a tough but an exciting job because you can actually see differences that you’ll make on the ground. So, talk to those folks and understand their programs and what you can pull from their programs to incorporate into your PAR efforts and talk to folks at the local levels about how you integrate with them.”
Although recently hired, addressing risk – deterring, detecting, assessing and mitigating violent behaviors and actions – is not new to the PAR professionals with former careers predominantly in the counterintelligence, law enforcement and security communities spanning leadership positions from the private sector and state law enforcement to DOD and the federal government.
"However, the transition many will make in this position is to understand their greater role in the prevention and assistance portion of their mission versus just responding to danger," said Dave Paravecchia, chief of the DOD PAR Division at DITMAC, in an interview during the seminar. "Specific to workplace violence, the PAR cadre are trained on indicators of violent behaviors, friction points in an individual's life which may be influencing their behaviors and actions, data aggregation, threat and risk assessment, subject professional judgement tools, coping mechanisms, available services and other mitigation measures that can be implemented by military and civilian leaders to help move someone off the path of violence."
In all, 36 PAR coordinators will utilize a multidisciplinary approach through collaboration with trained professionals, integrated prevention experts, and key stakeholders to develop tailored risk assessments and mitigation strategies while leading PAR programs at 12 joint bases or regions and five service specific military installations in fiscal year 2023.
To learn more about PAR – including the DOD Prevention Plan of Action; PAR Coordination, Collaboration and Advisement; PAR Mitigation and Prevention Pressure Points; and PAR Program History, including pictures, go to: https://www.dvidshub.net/news/451939/new-dod-prevention-assistance-and-response-cadre-depart-quantico-training-event-engage-par-efforts-nationwide/