U.S. Military Bases
Of course, I have been watching the Television Coverage of the tragic events that happened at the Washington Navy Yard on Monday, September 16, 2013. Almost every report also references the tragic events that happened at Fort Hood, Texas a few years ago.
The concerns I have heard involve the question of how did this shooter gain access to the Washington Navy Yard? We have learned that the shooter was working for a contractor who had a contract with the Navy. Another question that has been asked is how did the shooter retain his clearance for access in as much as he was undergoing medical treatment for "Mental Issues" with the Veterans Administration Health Care System?
I would like to share a few comments that reflect my own experience as a member of our United States Navy for 21 years. I recall that back in the early 1960s an administrative clerk (the Navy calls them Yeomen) was assigned to the Pentagon where he typed classified documents. It seems that each time he typed a document he would make an extra copy, which he would then sell to the resident Soviet Spy assigned to collect data from people who worked for the Department of Defense. This Yeoman was not the subject of a "background investigation."
You can be sure that a new policy soon was implemented. Anyone who serves the Navy in Washington, D.C. will have their background investigated prior to assignment in Washington with successful results.
Because I had a completed background investigation with no problems I was now eligible for Shore Duty in Washington, D.C. I departed the USS Ranger (CVA-61), an attack carrier assigned to the U. S. Pacific Fleet, and traveled to Washington, D.C. in July 1964. My new duty station was at Naval Command Systems Support Activity (NAVCOSSACT) located at the Washington Navy Yard. I was a Yeoman Third Class (E-4) when I was sent to Washington.
I was told that the average background investigation at the time mine was completed cost about $15,000.00. I can also recall that when my background investigation was being performed that an Agent asked many people it they thought that I was of such character that the the U. S. could trust me if I was granted access to Classified Information involving the safety and security of our Nation.
During a tour on a United States Navy Guided Missile Destroyer a few years later I was a Petty Officer First Class (E-6) and performed duties as the Ship's Secretary and the Leading Yeoman. As the Leading Yeoman I was responsible for the administration of the Ship's Office and the Records of all the Sailors assigned. This Guided Missile Destroyer, like all others had certain weapons systems that required individuals to have access to Classified Information and Equipment. It was the duty of all Supervisors and Administrators to be alert for potential situations where our Shipmates with this special access would no longer be fit for their assigned duties. It was our duty and also our obligation to report what we knew and the information would be evaluated by our Superiors. I suspect that this would not be possible in today's "Politically Correct" work/duty situation. However I would like to quickly point out that it did work back then.
Now to the recent events of the shootings at both Fort Hood and the Washington Navy Yard. I am anticipating a news flash/alert that will inform us that because of Health Care Professionalism Rules that Mental Health Care Givers/Providers could not give out information concerning the patients undergoing treatment for Mental Issues.
I am suggesting that because of The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) that the Health Care Professionals treating the Shooter who killed twelve workers at the Washington Navy Yard on Monday, September 16, 2013 felt they could not notify the appropriate Chain of Command (either Military or Civilian) that Aaron A_____ had a situation that would require him to no longer perform his duties as a Contractor for any organization working for the U. S. Department of Defense. Again, a potential "Politically Correct" work/duty situation.
As I compose this Post I have serious concerns about the security of our great Nation when we allow common sense to fly out the window. How many innocent people (civilian and/or military) will be killed before we wake up and stop this silliness?
Of course this is a picture of this Blog Post originator when he was a Seaman assigned to the Operations Department of the Attack Carrier USS Ranger (CVA-61)