Typically when a member of the US armed forced retires from the military they often times have a second career planned out. After twenty years of service Navy Chiefs, Marine Gunnery Sergeants or Army Sergeants First Class can retire as young as 38 years old. Some find work in the corporate world and some start their own businesses. However, most retired service members, enlisted or officers, do not live as well after retirement as those with stars in their ranks. A new report from the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), found that retired generals and admirals are now cashing in their stars for defense industry jobs:
The revolving door between government service and private companies for those with beribboned chests is now an entrenched feature of life in Washington, according to a new report from Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), a nonprofit government watchdog group.
Updating a 2010 Boston Globe report that documented the practice, CREW found that over the last three years, 70 percent of the 108 three-and-four star generals and admirals who retired “took jobs with defense contractors or consultants.”
What’s more, CREW found, some of these same retirees were then appointed to Pentagon advisory boards, such as the Defense Policy Board. The study did not cite examples of improper decision-making, but said the retired generals’ advice to the Pentagon may not be “unbiased,” due to their new financial interests.
The Pentagon’s rules only require a one-year wait before retired generals can contact former colleagues still at the Pentagon on behalf of their new employer. But even before that brief period ends, they can provide useful advice to new bosses about how to tap into fresh revenue streams and tip them on upcoming contract opportunities.