Friday, June 24, 2016

Senate Votes to Close the Loop on Military Revolving Door

Washington Post reports, "Since the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, military officers facing retirement have had a revolving door to walk through to a civilian job at the Defense Department.

Often it’s the same job they held while in uniform, and often they start the Monday after they retire and start collecting their military pension.

Under this arrangement, 41,630 military retirees — many of them senior officers — walked back into the Defense Department as civilians between September 2001 and August 2014, according to a government study. None of these jobs was advertised to the public. More than a third were hired before they officially retired, and more than half started their civilian careers within a pay period after taking off their uniform, an indication that no one competed with them for the job."

The article also reports, 

“Most military retirees and other veterans already receive hiring preferences in recognition of their service,” says the committee’s report on the National Defense Authorization Act, explaining why the policy should change. “Beyond that, the committee believes veterans and retirees should compete on equal footing with other qualified applicants.”

By leaning too heavily on military retirees without allowing other candidates to compete for these jobs, the Pentagon is closing its ranks to a diverse workforce, the committee report says, “not just in terms of diversity as it is traditionally defined, but also on diversity of thought, experience, and background within the Department that is desirable in any organization.”

McCain’s spokesman declined to comment, but his staff referred a reporter to the committee report....

But the American Legion, the country’s largest service organization, said it supports putting retirees back on equal footing with civilian job candidates.

“We support closing this loophole, because now if a military job becomes vacant it won’t be refilled by another military personnel,” said Louis Celli Jr., the Legion’s acting legislative director. The current system is “degrading the fighting force,” he said.

And the current system benefits senior officers at the expense of junior ones, Celli said, by allowing them to walk into civilian jobs without competing for them. Someone who retired at a more junior rank would benefit from the extra points given to veterans competing for civilian jobs, he said.

“Senior military members seem to have the market cornered on these plush positions,” Celli said. “You’ve got these retired generals who get full retirement benefits and they start a second career, just like that.”

Full article:

Food for thought: 

In his farewell address, President Eisenhower warned us of the ever expanding Military Industrialized Complex and its time we take heed to his advice.  

As a Military Whistleblower, I risked my life and 20 year Navy career by reporting fraud against our government; in return I was punished, discharged without my pension and left scared with the Scarlett Letter.  Meanwhile, “Rape, Sexual Assault, Sexual Harassment and Discrimination” are common phrases used amongst military Veterans who were also victimized by the military’s injustice system.  I digress… 

In April, Judge Rosemary Collyer ruled that I was in fact a Military Whistleblower when I was charged and later convicted on specious allegations of Adultery.  Since the day of my conviction I always believed that I was selectively prosecuted by my superiors to conceal evidence of a larger crime, involving illegal Revolving Door practices and defense Contract Bid rigging.”

Weeks prior to my discharge in July 2009, I’d filed a Qui Tam petition with the Department of Justice Anti-Trust division.  Reporting evidence of “Illegal Revolving Door practices, Contract Bid-rigging, Misappropriation of War funds, etc.,” involving my former bosses and other senior Pentagon officials, colluding with the defense contracting company Logistic Support Inc. (LSInc), to “rehire themselves and their buddies,” all the while advising top Pentagon officials on the Navy’s Anti-Force Protection for the Navy’s newly established Type Commander (TYCOM), Navy Expeditionary Combat Command. The TYCOM was established in early 2006, changing its mission from a ready Reserve Force to Active Duty, Expeditionary warriors. 

In its proposal package, LSInc stated, “It welcomes this opportunity to continue providing fully qualified professional personnel in support of PMS 480 to accomplish Naval Coastal Warfare (NCW) and additional Riverine Program Logistics requirements that we have performed successfully in the past.” 

LSInc was incorporated in 2001 as a Veteran-owned small business specializing in providing logistics, financial, and programming consulting services in support of ship and marine system material operations.   Since the award of the rigged July 2006 contract modification, the company has grown from a multi-million dollar small business to a multi-billion dollar Prime Vendor.

One of the key architects that ensured the contract modification was serving as OPNAV’s Branch Head, Antiterrorism/Force Protection.  He was responsible for AT/FP strategy and policy development and Navy compliance.  Within the content of the bid proposal package, he was to become LSInc’s Program Director and Program and Logistics Support.  Working as the senior management representative for the contract, to ensure close coordination and cooperation with NAVSEA and PEO LMW PMS 480; bringing a “Wealth of Knowledge and Skills” to his new role.”

As outlined in the above article, “Senior military members seem to have the market cornered on these plush positions,” … “You’ve got these retired generals who get full retirement benefits and they start a second career, just like that.”

She’s right!!  It’s just that easy for them because they set the stage for their post government employment opportunities long before retirement and they usually recruit from within.  Once one of their buddies secures a contract, it simply paves the way for more to follow suit.  It’s one of their best kept secrets.

I recall the day of my 0-4 promotion ceremony the advice of a Commander who was negotiating his retirement plans at the time, along with other senior staff officers that were approaching their retirement window.

After saluting him, he gestured a handshake (instead of a salute) to congratulate me by saying, “Welcome to the Big Boys Club” or words to that effect.   He went on to say, “It’s no longer what you know Sy’, it’s who you know!”   He further clarified his comment by saying that once you reach the rank of Commander it’s a different ball game altogether. “It’s all about networking!!”

As a former Inspector General, the encounter raised an immediate red flag.  As the command’s budget officer, I was suspicious about the newly approved logistic services contract and the role of several of the company’s senior contractor's, “senior retired officers.”

During a major exercise that Summer, one of the company’s top advisors (a defense contractor and retired captain) was delegated command authority over the budget while we were training one of the active duty subordinate Squadrons for an upcoming deployment to the Middle East.  The CO had put him in-charge of deciding what tactical gear we should purchase, to which (sole sourced) vendors we should buy them from, as if he was getting some sort of kickback. His company provided numerous logistic services, at times circumventing federal regulatory procedures. Upon approval of the LSInc contract modification we were given a substantial increase of our Cost of War operational budget and the greedy vultures took full advantage of it.  In a June 2008 Navy IG investigation report, it was substantiated that the CO had also tasked the contractor to perform personal services. 

In Chapter 11 of my memoir, Broken Silence, A Military Whistleblower’s Fight for Justice, titled, “Integrity is the Law,” I cite the following passage from the Procurement Act:

The Procurement Integrity Act prohibits the release of source selection and contractor bid or proposal information.  Also, a former employee who served in certain positions on a procurement action or contract in excess of $10 million is barred for one year from receiving compensation as an employee or consultant from that contractor.  The law also states:  A present or former employee of, or person acting on behalf of, or advising the U.S. on a procurement, who has or had access to such information shall not disclose it before the award of the contract to which the information relates (48 CFR 3.104-4(a)).  Furthermore, no person shall knowingly obtain such information before the award of the contract to which the information relates. (48 CFR 3.104-4(b))  

I recently became aware that the ongoing Fat Leonard fraud scandal is smoke and mirrors, merely setting the stage for senior retired Navy officers to “start-up” defense contracting companies, to serve as husbanding agents within and beyond the 7th Fleet AOR (Area of Operation).   Especially in the wake of President Obama’s decision to pivot Navy forces from the Atlantic Fleet region to the Pacific Fleet, calling it the “Pacific Pivot.” 

Sources say that, “CTF 73 and CTF 76 Commanders” (Good Ole' Boys) have jokingly discussed in closed door meetings, “Washing each other's hand now that they’ve managed to “Lock away the competition,” referring to Glen Leonard Francis, also known as “Fat Leonard. ”

The sources informed me that all the information that's been reported with respect to defense contracting practices, NAVSUP personnel (including civilians) have been working in coordination with NCIS to tell half the story. Apparently, there are personnel within the NAVSUP organization and NCIS that have internally concealed information to ensure key senior Navy personnel are “NOT CONNECTED TO THE SCANDAL.”  It reminds me of the Nixon Administration.   It also explains why so many junior officers are being charged (set-up to take the fall) and not their senior bosses, who are looking to inherit Glen Francis’ former Empire. 

Yet this is exactly what I talk about in the later chapters of my memoir.  I personally witnessed firsthand how they “set up” their post-employment “retirement plan” after retiring from the Navy, while engaging in War profiteering, recruiting their active duty buddies in the process to guarantee additional funding to their fiefdom. 

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