The Pentagon’s controversial plan to hire military leaders off the street

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Lateral entry, if approved, could open a door for civilians to join the military’s senior officer ranks. Some leaders want to explore this idea for enlisted military jobs, too.(Photo: John Harman/Staff)

 

Defense Secretary Ash Carter wants to open the door for more “lateral entry” into the military’s upper ranks, clearing the way for lifelong civilians with vital skills and strong résumés to enter the officer corps as high as the O-6 paygrade.

The idea is controversial, to say the very least. For many in the rank-and-file military, it seems absurd, a bewildering cultural change that threatens to upend many assumptions about military life and traditional career paths. But while it’s not universally embraced, there is interest in Congress and among some of the military’s uniformed leaders — even, they say, in exploring how the services could apply this concept to the enlisted force.

This is a key piece of Carter’s “Force of the Future” personnel reform. Unveiled June 9, it aims to help the military bring in more top talent, especially for high-tech career fields focused on cyber warfare and space. Advocates say it will help the military fill important manpower shortfalls with highly skilled professionals and, more broadly, create greater “permeability” between the active-duty military and the civilian sector. Continue reading

Navy sailors suffer strange deformities after Fukushima exposure

KOMO 4 News transcript, Feb 11, 2015 (emphasis added): Men and women sworn to serve, now suffering from mysterious health problems… Local rescuers find themselves battling for the truth — and their own survival… They had no idea of what was happening in coastal Fukushima… 3 of 6 nuclear reactors suffered meltdowns, then several explosions… prevailing winds sent most of that radiation over the Pacific, where the 7th Fleet was positioned… the sailors say no one aboard ship took any extra radiation protection measures [for] “probably about a week”… [Aviation Structural Mechanic Ron] Wright remembers one time the scanners went crazy over his trousers. “It was just being like beep, beep, beep, beep… I lost my pants.”… The Navy continuously reassured them… Within a month of Operation Tomodachi… he started experiencing painful swelling in his groin.  He’s undergone 3 surgeries but expects to suffer pain the rest of his life.  Even more frightening — Wright’s diagnosis of varicocele can lead to male infertility. Continue reading