IS THE TSA BIASED AGAINST MILITARY AND POLICE VETS? Jeff Johnson of CNS News reports that the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) was accused by current and former employees of being against screeners who had “prior military and law enforcement experience and those who currently serve in the National Guard and reserves. TSA officials denied the charges.”:
Alfunzo Staley spent 15 years in the Marine Corps before he returned to his home in Detroit, Mich., and joined the Air Force Reserve to become a paramedic. Eager to use his military experience to help his country after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, he applied for a job with the TSA and was hired.
But when Staley was called up with other paramedics in his unit for chemical and biological weapons injury training in advance of a possible deployment as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom, he was shocked at his TSA supervisors’ response.
“Federal law requires federal agencies to award ‘leave without pay’ status to members of the Armed Forces Reserves who are called to duty,” Staley explained. “Instead, the TSA awarded me AWOL (Absent Without Leave) status.”
When Staley submitted the required forms to be absent from his TSA job to attend mandatory military training, he claims he was first told simply that he could not miss work for that purpose. But had he followed his TSA supervisor’s instructions and skipped the training, he could have been court-martialed and sentenced to a military prison.
After obeying his military orders, Staley claims his TSA supervisors charged him with being AWOL. When Staley disproved that accusation, he said the time off was then charged to his military leave, which is dedicated to a reservist’s annual two-week commitment.
Finally, the TSA allegedly tried to deduct Staley’s military service commitment from his vacation time.
There are several other, similar examples in Johnson’s article.