O homem que matou Osama Bin Laden
Publicado em: 12 Fev, 2013
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He is furious about the high unemployment rate among returning infantrymen and has taken on that issue as his own, as well as homelessness, PTSD, and the other plagues of regular troops returning home.

General Myatt believes “the U.S. military is the best in the world at transitioning from civilian to military life and the worst in the world at transitioning back.” And that, he acknowledges, doesn’t even begin to consider the separate and distinct travesty visited on the Shooter and his comrades.

The Special Operations men are special beyond their operations. “These guys are self-actualizers,” says a retired rear admiral and former SEAL I spoke with. “Top of the pyramid. If they wanted to build companies, they could. They can do anything they put their minds to. That’s how smart they are.”

But what’s available to these superskilled retiring public servants? “Pretty much nothing,” says the admiral. “It’s ‘Thank you for your service, good luck.'”

One third-generation military man who has worked both inside and outside government, and who has fought for vets for decades, is sympathetic to the problem. But he notes that the Pentagon is dealing with two hundred thousand new veterans a year, compared with perhaps a few dozen SEALs. “Can and should the DOD spend the extra effort it would take to help the superelite guys get with exactly the kind of employers they should have? Investment bankers, say, value that competition, drive, and discipline, not to mention people with security clearances. They [Tier One vets] should be plugged in at executive levels. Any employers who think about it would want to hire these people.”

For officials, however, everyone signing out of war is a hero, and even for the masses of retirees, programs are sporadic and often ineffectual. Michelle Obama and Jill Biden have both made transitioning vets a personal cause, though these efforts are largely gestural and don’t reach nearly high enough for the skill sets of a member of SEAL Team 6.

The Virginia-based Navy SEAL Foundation has a variety of supportive programs for the families of SEALs, and the foundation spends $3.2 million a year maintaining them. But as yet they have no real method or programs for upper-level job placement of their most practiced constituency.

A businessman associated with the foundation says he understands that there is a need the foundation does not fill. “This is an ongoing thing where lots of people seem to want to help but no one has ever really done it effectively because our community is so small. No one’s ever cracked it. And there real-ly needs to be an education effort well before they separate [from the service] to tell them, ‘The world you’re about to enter is very different than the one you’ve been operating in the last fifteen or twenty years.'” One former SEAL I spoke with is a Harvard MBA and now a very successful Wall Street trader whose career path is precisely the kind of example that should be evangelized to outgoing SEALs. His own life reflects that “SpecOps guys could be hugely value-added” to civilian companies, though he says business schools — degrees in general — might be an important step. “It would be great to get a panel of CEOs together who are ready to help these guys get hired.” Some big companies do have veteran-outreach specialists — former SEAL Harry Wingo fills that role at Google.

But these individual and scattered shots still do not provide what is needed: a comprehensive battle plan.

In San Francisco recently, I talked about the Special Ops issue with Twitter CEO Dick Costolo and venture capitalist and Orbitz chairman Jeff Clarke. Both are very interested in offering a business luminary hand to help clandestine operators make their final jump. There is enthusiastic consensus among the business and military people I have canvassed that this kind of outside help is required, perhaps a new nonprofit financed and driven by the Costolos and Clarkes of the world.

Even before he retired, the Shooter’s new business plan dissolved when the SEAL Team 6 members who formed it decided to go in different directions, each casting for a civilian professional life that’s challenging and rewarding. The stark realities of post-SEAL life can make even the blood of brothers turn a little cold.

“I still have the same bills I had in the Navy,” the Shooter tells me when we talk in September 2012. But no money at all coming in, from anywhere.

“I just want to be able to pay all those bills, take care of my kids, and work from there,” he says. “I’d like to take the things I learned and help other people in any way I can.”

In the last few months, the Shooter has put together some work that involves a kind of discreet consulting for select audiences. But it’s a per-event deal, and he’s not sure how secure or long-term it will be. And he wants to be much more involved in making the post — SEAL Team 6 transition for others less uncertain.

The December suicide of one SEAL commander in Afghanistan and the combat death of another — a friend — while rescuing an American doctor from the Taliban underscore his urgent desire to make a difference on behalf of his friends.

He imagines traveling back to other parts of the world for a few days at a time to do dynamic surveys for businesses looking to put offices in countries that are not entirely safe, or to protect employees they already have in place.

But he is emphatic: He does not want to carry a gun. “I’ve fought all the fights. I don’t have a need for excitement anymore. Honestly.”

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