Defense (sic) Firms Lure Retired Generals

How terrible, of course nothing similar happens here ..... does it?

From the Pentagon to the private sector - In large numbers, and with few rules, retiring generals are taking lucrative defense-firm jobs

WASHINGTON — An hour after the official ceremony marking the end of his 35-year career in the Air Force, General Gregory “Speedy’’ Martin returned to his quarters to swap his dress uniform for golf attire. He was ready for his first tee time as a retired four-star general

But almost as soon as he closed the door that day in 2005 his phone rang. It was an executive at Northrop Grumman, asking if he was interested in working for the manufacturer of the B-2 stealth bomber as a paid consultant. A few weeks later, Martin received another call. This time it was the Pentagon, asking him to join a top-secret Air Force panel studying the future of stealth aircraft technology.

Martin was understandably in demand, having been the general in charge of all Air Force weapons programs, including the B-2, for the previous four years.

He said yes to both offers.

In almost any other realm it would seem a clear conflict of interest — pitting his duty to the US military against the interests of his employer — not to mention a revolving-door sprint from uniformed responsibilities to private paid advocacy.

But this is the Pentagon where, a Globe review has found, such apparent conflicts are a routine fact of life at the lucrative nexus between the defense procurement system, which spends hundreds of billions of dollars a year, and the industry that feasts on those riches. And almost nothing is ever done about it.

The Globe analyzed the career paths of 750 of the highest ranking generals and admirals who retired during the last two decades and found that, for most, moving into what many in Washington call the “rent-a-general’’ business is all but irresistible.

From 2004 through 2008, 80 percent of retiring three- and four-star officers went to work as consultants or defense executives, according to the Globe analysis. That compares with less than 50 percent who followed that path a decade earlier, from 1994 to 1998.

In some years, the move from general staff to industry is a virtual clean sweep. Thirty-four out of 39 three- and four-star generals and admirals who retired in 2007 are now working in defense roles — nearly 90 percent.

And in many cases there is nothing subtle about what the generals have to sell — Martin’s firm is called The Four Star Group, for example. The revolving-door culture of Capitol Hill — where former lawmakers and staffers commonly market their insider knowledge to lobbying firms — is now pervasive at the senior rungs of the military leadership.
Full article
Outrageous, now where do I sign up to become a 3 star so that I can bounce into one of these lucrative retirement plans. I gather that divisional command experience can open up a few opportunities this side of the pond as well.
We used to say that there are so many Colonels in the MOD that they work as tea boys. Well almost the same is true of Generals in the USA.

Then there are two sides to the "Many Generals" problem. MY wife, who works for a large corporation, has a friend and colleague whose husband is a retired Air Force 2 star. He walked out of the Air Force and into a job with the defense realated Corporation he had been attached to prior to his retirement.

There is also a downside example, one of the telephone customer service advisers at my wifes location has just returned to work after a reserve military commitment of around seven years in Iraq and Afgahnistan. He left civvy life as a Reserve Major on promotion to Lt Colonel........he arrived back to take up his call centre operative position again as an army one star. He is trying to find ways of expanding his reservist role whilst back in the USA, understandable really, $25K a year call centre op or, $100K a year General.

I also have a mate with whom I go shooting, his rank is Colonel his occupation is F18 pilot. He is presently working as the in house service representative and subject matter expert with a civvy Corporation developing "something" for fighters. He has already been told he has a job with them when he retires in a couple of years and already has the benefit of a company car ........ a civvy one.

As an aside, the cousins love British military expertise. There are a fair few AT's and ATO's doing their thing here as well as a few of THEM working for "Specialist Training Consultancies".

Similar threads

Latest Threads