As the new Director of the Department, I would like to address the mission that stands before us. This mission is formed by our core values: Integrity, Vigilance, and Respect. While these values are important, we need to re-address what they mean in practice. The Department needs to be closer to the needs of American people, especially minorities. The core values must represent what the Department defends, as well as who the allies are, or, in other words, more disclosed information.
The value of Integrity in its current form is generic: it means that the Department functions successfully and represents the Congress to American people. There need to be specific issues addressed, and the way Integrity helps to overcome them, for example, standing against corruption, bribery, and the absence of bias and prejudice towards people of any race, gender, and sexual orientation. Thus, the Department should give more information on how Integrity is interpreted.
The value of Vigilance is the most transparent out of the three. It claims that the Department guards America against any threats or hazards (Core Values, 2021, para. 3). Basically, this Value is the declaration of the Department’s main mission. However, it is curious that, while it promises to protect American values and way of life, the values are declared below, in the Respect Value description. It is therefore possible that their places should be reversed.
Finally, the Value of Respect is controversial. While it explains that the main American values are liberty and democracy, which was needed above, the large part of the description is dedicated to partners, customers and stakeholders, as if the Department is a private business establishment (Core Values, 2021, para. 4). The Partners here should be understood as American allies abroad, as well as different American agencies, both state and federal, and members of American communities who cooperate with the Department. This will help people understand that there is a great alliance that provides their security.
Thus, the core values of the Department of Homeland Security need change. While the mission stated in the Vigilance value works as is, Integrity and Respect need a significantly different approach to how they are formulated. The American populace needs to understand what precisely is being defended, and who takes part in it to feel safe and confident in the future. This is the only method of proper defense for a true democracy.
Core Values (2021). An official website of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.