Friday, December 2, 2011

How to mock a Medal of Honor recipient

Posted By on Fri, Dec 2, 2011 at 11:18 AM

click to enlarge dakota-meyerjpg

How do you turn the Congressional Medal of Honor, the nation's highest award for valor, into a sarcastic jab, a catty office joke? As first reported by the Wall Street Journal this week, Medal of Honor recipient Marine Sgt. Dakota Meyer filed a defamation suit against his former employer, major U.S. military contractor BAE Systems OASYS Inc, this summer claiming the company cost him a job with another contractor by labeling him mentally unstable and a problem drinker. Among other details in an updated complaint filed in a San Antonio court this week, Meyer claims his supervisor at BAE, Bobby McCreight, taunted, belittled, and berated him over his commendation — McCreight “sarcastically and disdainfully ridiculed what he called Sgt. Meyer's 'pending star status,'” according to the lawsuit. Keep in mind what earned Meyer his commendation in the first place: this September, the White House honored the Marine sergeant for repeatedly charging into enemy fire during a Taliban ambush, rescuing three dozen fellow soldiers. And what drew McCreight's ire? According to the defamation suit, Meyer sent him an email soon after he was hired by BAE, troubled that BAE was seeking to sell advanced thermal optic scopes to Pakistan. As noted by Express-News military writer Sig Christenson this week, it's not a novel or unfounded concern. (Consider how sales of F-14 fighter jets to Iran in the '70s or weapons to Afghanistan's mujahadeen in the '70s and '80s look less than prudent in hindsight). Here's an excerpt of the email Meyer sent to his supervisor in April, as contained in the lawsuit:
“The reason I came on with BAE OASYS was to use the knowledge I had gained from the experiences I had while serving in combat operations to improve gear and make items to save the lives of U.S. troops. This is where I could see me still 'doing my part' for the guys who are in the same situation now that I was in 18 months ago. I feel that by selling this to Pakistan we are doing noting but the exact opposite. We are simply taking the best gear, the best technology on the market to date, and giving to guys that are known to stab us in the back. These are the same people who are killing our guys. I think that one of the most disturbing facts to the whole thing is that we are still going forth with the PAS-13 optic and issuing these outdated sub-par optics to our own U.S. troops when we have better optics we can put in their hands right now but we are willing to sell it to Pakistan. This is very disturbing to me as an American and as a United States Marine.”
By May, Meyer resigned from BAE and was looking to join up with military contractor Ausgar Technologies. According to Meyer, who had worked for the company before, the new job was all but a done deal (Ausgar wanted Meyer to join its “RCOS/Keyhole team,” which contracts with the U.S. military to train soldiers on thermal optic equipment used by snipers and teams hunting IEDS). But that was before McCreight spoke to the government contract manager with Ausgar, who then called off the hire. According to the lawsuit, Meyer got this email from Ausgar's hiring manager in June explaining why he wouldn't get the job:
“Dakota, we have recently decided as of last Monday, 23, May to hire (2) additional RCOS/Keyhole team members. I had talked in previous months with the government customer about rehiring you if the opportunity arose. He was onboard back in March and April when we had discussed. Also our AUSGAR training leads both overseas and here in the States were in concurrence with bringing you back if additional positions opened up. After decision was made by RCOS/Keyhole government manager that (2) additional hires were required to support the program, it was requested that we move forward with hiring you. After contact with the government PM, I was told that you would not be a good fit coming back to the program. That was based on discussions via phone that the program manager had with Bobby McCreight from OASYS. Bottom line, it was determined that based on conversations between Mr. Bobby McCreight and Mr. Bob Higginson, the RCOS/Keyhole government PM, that you were not recommended to be placed back on the team due to being mentally unstable and no [sic] performing on OASYS tasks assigned. Details were not provided but RCOS/Keyhole PM was basically told that based on your current work performance and not doing what was assigned as well as your activities in a social setting related to drinking you were not performing as required to support our effort going forward.”
     

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