Secure your line badges, protect our assets

MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan -- One of the things I notice on a daily basis here is the display of restricted area badges, also known as line badges. 

One of the most important things I was told when I got my line badge was that it should be secured and out of view when not in the facility or area where the line badge is required. I don't necessarily blame the Airman, NCO, etc. for not knowing they need to secure their line badges. I wasn't briefed or formally informed on this; I just have good mentors that I work with and who do their best to make sure I know the right things to do and not to do. 

We are in a foreign country and need to protect our assets and the locations containing these assets. Would you walk around with your credit card or social security card around your neck at the mall? No you wouldn't; that's your money and privacy at stake. So why would you risk the Air Force's money and assets? It takes less than 10 seconds to take your badge off and put it in your cargo pocket, or inside your ABU/BDU coat. You don't need your line badge to go to the class six shoppette or buy groceries at the commissary. And I pray Airmen aren't wearing them off base, but I can only hope. 

The bottom line is we need to keep Misawa Air Base safe. People like you and me are the first line of protection for important information that could be dangerous in the wrong hands. Take your line badges off when you're not in a secure area.