Nevada National Guard’s effort keeps potential assailants guessing

Dozens of National Guard soldiers and airmen have completed the Nevada National Guard’s Unit Marshal Program training and may be carrying concealed firearms while working in uniform at Nevada Guard facilities.

Or maybe not?

The fact one may never know whether or not a uniformed co-worker is carrying a concealed weapon is one of the primary deterrence aspects of the Nevada Guard’s innovative Unit Marshal Program, which aims to deter insider threats and ensure the safety of all Nevada Guard military and civilian employees and visitors who work and gather at National Guard facilities.

The Nevada Guard’s Unit Marshal Program is the first of its kind in the National Guard and is being monitored by the National Guard Bureau for potential expansion to other states and territories.

The program is the brainchild of Provost Marshal Maj. Robert Kolvet, who said the program should cause a potential assailant to think twice about attempting to create a horrific situation like the one in Parkland, Florida, on Feb. 14 that left 17 dead.

“I want everyone in the world to know the Nevada Guard has implemented a program to deter insider threats and potential active assailants,” said Kolvet, 38, of Reno.

“It’s relatively easy to install fences and employ gate guards to protect against external threats, but insider threats are harder to defend,” Kolvet said. “The Unit Marshal Program is a measure that promises to improve the safeguarding of our force internally.”

Kolvet stressed the fact that participants in the Unit Marshal Program are not members of a special reaction team authorized to pursue active assailants. On the contrary, the program allows unit marshals to engage with active assailants only if other defense options such as run and/or hide is no longer an option.

“Being in the Unit Marshal Program does not give the soldier or airman carte blanche authorization to pursue an active assailant,” Kolvet said.

Soldiers and airmen in the program possess a concealed carry weapons permit and have successfully completed a two-day training program.The only Nevada Guard officials with knowledge of who has passed the Unit Marshal Program course are the adjutant general, the director of the joint staff and the Army Guard’s provost marshal officer and non-commissioned officer in charge.

Erick Studenicka is a sergeant first class with the Nevada National Guard.

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