It’s a tough world out there. It looks like it’ll be getting tougher for soon-to-be retired US military leaders:
Sources revealed today that a top U.S. Marine General is “extremely hesitant” about plans for his possible retirement, indicating a greater problem with military transition assistance programs.
General John Murphy, the former commander of Fleet Marine Forces-Pacific, is looking toward a future in the private sector, but he says he may have to lower himself to take any position in order to support his family.
“It’s scary out there with the economy the way it is,” said Murphy in a telephone interview with The Duffel Blog. “I’m certainly hoping that I can secure a job as a D.C. lobbyist or a consultant to a defense contractor. But shit, I’m just not sure anymore. I might have to degrade myself and be a military analyst at Fox News just to feed my goddamn kids.”
Murphy’s worries underscore a major problem of assisting military members on their way out of the service. Junior enlisted personnel usually go through a weeklong Transition Assistance Program, or TAP, but the classes for general officers have serious drawbacks.
“The enlisted classes set the guys up for everything. They basically pave the way for them to go college, give them job placement, the whole nine yards,” said Michael Phillips, a counselor with the TAP program. “But for Generals, they need to do a lot of the work on their own. Most of them have to search for at least a few minutes in their rolodex to find a contact at BAE Systems or Lockheed before they have an executive position.”