Friday, February 24, 2012

Is This Really a Big Deal?

There is a controversy brewing over whether to take the staff of the Stars and Stripes publication and move them from Washington D.C. to Fort Meade, Maryland. I'm not sure what the problem is, but let's get a few things out of the way.

First, Stars and Stripes is an award-winning publication. It is not crap or unprofessional. There is great merit behind what they do. I have no reservations citing them in the posts that I do.

Second, it is not an "independent" publication in any sense. It is, in fact, an authorized news outlet of the Department of Defense, albeit one that, at the direction of Congress, has some independence in editorial judgement. Monetary considerations are understandable. Here in Europe, there are deep cuts on the way. Everyone has to do their part.

Third, there's nothing wrong with moving the staff to Fort Meade, unless you have a problem with Central Maryland. Having been stationed there, I can tell you, the facilities where these people will be working are pretty up-to-date. They are entirely separate from the other facilities located on the base. Where they will be working is in an area where there are barracks, a gym, a park with a lake, and numerous other quality of life benefits. Don't weep for these people to be moving out of Washington D.C.

When I was there, the construction boom had just started. Fort Meade has a great deal to offer. I think that what the people here might be uncomfortable with is "being inside the wire." Each and every person who goes onto Fort Meade has to show identification. This is how it is with military posts nowadays. It's inconvenient up to a point; if you can't handle it, find another line of work.

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