While the Department of Defense was racing against time to respond to the 9–11 attacks, to locate Osama Bin Laden, and to protect our country against further terrorism at home and abroad, U.S. military leadership was supporting and promoting campaigns to dismiss skilled service members with the ability to help. It should bother you to know that, in some cases, the reasons for their dismissals had nothing to do with their abilities to perform their jobs.
“This article isn’t about one instance of unfortunate circumstance; it’s about a system that cowers behind false claims of “fairness” and “uniformity” in order to excuse a lazy and irresponsible leadership style.”
Some of the most impressive minds in the world gather and disseminate national intelligence from their cubicles inside the National Security Agency (NSA). As with any other profession, some of the people who work there are more effective, and some of them are less effective. There are the superstars, and there are those who somehow slipped through the cracks and don’t have the ability to contribute as much.
One of those superstars — one of the smartest and most talented linguists I’ve ever met during over a decade in that field and over multiple decades with ties to it — was dismissed from his job for having too high a body fat percentage. To clarify, he spent (more than) eight hours per day, five days per week, sitting in front of a keyboard and a computer monitor translating one language into another and writing electronic reports based on what he had learned. A keystroke was the most strenuous physical activity his job required.
Yet, because his body mass index was outside of the acceptable range, he was deemed unfit to do that job. He sat at home while his specific area of expertise floundered.
“What they have failed to do, however, is to recognize that priority should be given to the accomplishment of the actual mission over adherence to some marginally related or completely unrelated…