Who wants to be in Bobby McCreight’s shoes? Show of hands, please.
Anything’s possible, I suppose.
Congressional Medal of Honor winner, and ex-U.S. Marine, Dakota Meyer could conceivably be "mentally unstable" and have “a problem related to drinking in a social setting”. Which is what Meyer’s former supervisor, Bobby McCreight, is alleged to have said about him.
There just doesn’t seem to a whole lot of evidence that would suggest that this is so.
But the allegation was, Meyer believes, enough to put the kibosh on a job with a defense contractor that he had been verbally assured was his.
So, Meyer is suing his former employer BAE Systems, and McCreight, his former supervisor.
In legal papers filed Monday, the Marine claims that BAE Systems, where he worked earlier this year, retaliated against him after he raised objections about BAE's alleged decision to sell high-tech sniper scopes to the Pakistani military. He says his supervisor at BAE effectively blocked his hiring by another defense contractor by making the claims about drinking and his mental condition. (Source: WSJ.)
Meyer was (understandably) angered about the arms sale, given that he’d been there/done that on the Afghan-Pakistan border. Which is where he earned his Congressional Medal of Honor by risking life and limb to rescue a bunch of his comrades – 36 of them, in fact - from Taliban fire. So, yeah, arms sales to our “friends” the Pakistanis is a personal thing.
"We are taking the best gear, the best technology on the market to date and giving it to guys known to stab us in the back," Sgt. Meyer wrote to Mr. McCreight, according to the lawsuit. "These are the same people killing our guys."
Because of this prospective sale, Meyer quit BAE. He thought he would be able to get his old job back at Ausgur Technologies, another defense contractor. That was until McCreight got out his weapon of choice, in this case, the e-mail which resulted in the DoD liaison passing the comments about the “mental instability” and “drinking” on to Ausgur.
McCreight had, according to Meyer, not taken too kindly to Meyer’s being up for the Congressional Medal of Honor:
In the suit, Sgt. Meyer said that after he voiced his criticism, Mr. McCreight began "berating and belittling" him. The supervisor criticized Sgt. Meyer for making a trip with their BAE division president and made sarcastic remarks about Sgt. Meyer's nomination for the Medal of Honor, allegedly ridiculing his "pending star status," the suit says.
McCreight is himself, I believe, a former Marine. So much for the deathless Marine Corps bond. Maybe he thought Meyer was just grandstanding when he went back five times to rescue more of his bros.
So, how’d you like to be in McCreight’s old combat boots right about now?
Whatever his motivations were in fingering Meyer – petulance, retribution, jealousy, sarcasm, or – let’s give him the benefit of the pre-court-of-law doubt – patriotism and sincerity (maybe he really believed that Meyer was a crazy drinker; maybe he believed that any one who would drink a can of Bud is nuts), McCreight’s name at this point is Mudd.
I have no idea how old McCreight is, but he’s taken on a young man – Meyer is just 23 years old – who has achieved iconic and revered status, at a time and in a place where it is nigh unto impossible to criticize a member of the military. Let alone one who’s just been awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. Think Sgt. Alvin York, who hailed from the neighboring state of Tennessee. If Gary Cooper were still alive, he’d be playing Meyer, who’s from Kentucky.
McCreight’s in the suit, in the news, and in the blogs, where I’m sure he has his apologists and defenders. Just not that many of them.
His reputation’s obviously at stake (if not altogether shattered), and his job’s likely at stake. Who knows for how long old BAE Systems will be on his side.
And as much as the average American is willing to call BS on most of the “wrongful whatever” suits filed in this oh-so-litigious nation of ours, no one will be calling BS here unless and until someone proves that Meyer is a mentally unstable drinker, and/or until someone disproves that the McCreight e-mail was, indeed, the reason Meyer didn’t get the job he was looking for.
Gosh, what was Bobby McCreight thinking when he fired off this e-mail? The spoken word becomes he-say, he-say in court. The e-mailed word lives on forever.
I’ve had a couple of people under me whom I had personally (but obviously not professionally) diagnosed as “mentally unstable,” but damned if I ever would have told that to a prospective hirer, let alone put it in an e-mail. If someone I knew had asked me off the record about one of these folks, I would likely have been somewhat forthcoming and warned them off. Mostly, when providing a reference, I used to wait for someone to ask me the $64,000 question: would I hire this person again. And I would have answered truthfully, yea or nay. But no one ever asked. (When I was especially enthusiastic about someone, I would volunteer that I would hire them again in a minute.)
I’m not a big one for knee-jerk glorifying everyone who dons a military uniform as a hero. But sometimes men in war do extraordinarily brave, courageous, and bold things, seemingly without regard for their own (leather)necks. And Meyer is apparently one of them. You might get a Purple Heart for a nick, but I do not believe that you get the Congressional Medal of Honor for being a wuss.
Could it possibly get any worse for Bobby McCreight? I just ran the spell-checker, and the correction suggested for McCreight is McVeigh. You CANNOT make this stuff up.
Labels: bad business behavior