May 1, 2012 by Rich Cooper

The U.S. Secret Service, the TSA and the U.S. Military have all been involved in recent public relations disasters that exposed poor choices on the part of federal employees and disrupted the public trust in government agencies. Fallout continues over the Secret Service prostitution scandal in Colombia. News reports of TSA agents breaking rules and laws are ongoing. Military personnel have been caught in photos urinating on dead bodies and in other offensive acts. Why did these incidents occur and what can be done to ensure they do not happen again? Here is a piece I wrote for Defense Media Network about these issues.

Secret Service, TSA, and Military Scandals Break the Public Trust – Defense Media Network

Nearly a dozen U.S. Secret Service and nearly ten more U.S. military personnel are implicated in a prostitution scandal in Colombia while their boss, the President of the United States, meets with leaders from the Americas. Several TSA agents are arrested for stealing, assaults, possession of child pornography and other infractions. Military service personnel urinate on the dead bodies of their enemies while others pose for photos with their body parts.

So when did the good guys, the ones who took oaths to protect us (and one another) suddenly become people of questionable character?

That’s a question a lot of people are asking, from professional peers to the news media, the people they serve, the Congress and everyone else in between. We’ve seen more than our share of colorful stories of late that are giving us all a reason to take a moment and shake our heads in disappointment, if not outright disgust.

Questions about the operational culture of the organizations, employment screening procedures, personnel stress and maturity are all being bandied about. As repugnant and as embarrassing as each of these episodes may be to their respective organizations, the truth is each of these incidents is emblematic of the fractured, imperfect and wholly fallible fabric of people and organizations in our daily lives.

Read the full story.


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