back to article US mulls drafting gray-haired hackers during times of crisis

A US government commission has asked the public for its thoughts on possible changes to the military's selective service rules to allow the conscription of technical talent, including those with computer-oriented skills, regardless of sex or age. The National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service, in accordance …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So, not so much like a volunteer army then.

    1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      So much more like Soviet Union and Soviet Block.

      All medical personnel in the Soviet Block were subject to mandatory army reserve requirements and called up at least once a year.

      Specific "geeks" were also called up once or twice a year. A good friend of mine who in those days was the deputy head of the Semiconductors Physics department in a large Eastern European university was called 2 times a year on average. And so on.

      USA are getting there. In fact they are nearly there.

      1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        USA are getting there. In fact they are nearly there.

        And have been since the days of the Vietnam war. Of course, present POTUS managed to buy him an exemption from serive (it's amazing how many people from wealthy backgrounds managed to find compliant doctors to sign them off as medically unfit) but the vast majority of the soldiers were conscripts.

      2. BillG

        What's Important Here

        The private sector pays much MUCH more than the military, even as a civilian contractor.

        Civilian contractors hire youngsters because they are cheaper than oldsters.

        Civilian contractors are laser-focused on lowering overhead (ex: salaries) so they can keep more of the government's contract money - the rule is, if it can't be charged to a contract, don't do it.

        An enlisted hacker wearing a soldier's uniform is mostly downside for the reasons stated in the article.

        1. lifetime security Bronze badge

          Re: What's Important Here

          Unless you are over the age of 40. Then the private sector will not hire you.


            Re: What's Important Here

            The private sector has hired me about 6 times since I turned 40. The last time I was hired I also got paid relocation from Dallas to Seattle. If you have current skills, you can get hired.

    2. LucreLout Silver badge

      So, not so much like a volunteer army then.

      If they get this right I can see plenty of volunteers emerging.

      From the article...

      And then once military personnel gain computer skills, the desire for family life, better pay, and not moving around makes the private sector more attractive, she said.

      Sure, but at the other end of my career, when I'll have many decades of applied tech skills, a paid off house, the kids have left home, and a boring retirement waiting, I might just consider all of the above to be beneficial.

      "The quarters, the accommodations, and the culture need a transition,"

      So... Starship Troopers, right? Not only do I get to play with military drones and other tech, I get to shower with a bunch of in shape 20 something ladies, before popping down to the shooting range with an M-16? And they expect hiring difficulties? Really?

      1. SotarrTheWizard

        Service guarantees citizenship. . ..

        . . . Would you like to know more ??? (evil grin)

      2. Michael Maxwell

        Old Man's War

        Yeah, I was thinking more or less the same thing. You should read Old Man's War, by John Scalzi.

  2. Eddy Ito

    All I can say is the pay and conditions had better be at least as good as on the outside as I can think of several people whose skills would deteriorate rapidly. Of course if it was as good as the outside they might be able to recruit more talent. Oh, and that whole marijuana disqualifier thing would have to go and don't forget to keep the open munchies bar well stocked.

  3. jake Silver badge

    Unfortunately ...

    Most of us grey haired old hackers have already worked for either the .gov or the .mil (or both) and are not stupid enough to make that mistake again ... Once bitten, twice shy.

    There is a reason that "military intelligence" is considered an oxymoron ... and jokes like "We're from the Government, we're here to help you" exist.

    Draft me if you must, but I rather suspect I'll suddenly develop symptoms of senility.

    1. wayne 8

      Draft Resistance v2.0

      Draft the Silicon Valley Tech Lords first. Then the Wall Street Quants.

      Or do what every USA corp does, hire dot Indians.

      1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: Draft Resistance v2.0

        Draft the Silicon Valley Tech Lords first. Then the Wall Street Quants.

        Who will (strangely) suddenly become citizens of $NeutralCountry and thus not be elegible for callup.

      2. JohnFen Silver badge

        Re: Draft Resistance v2.0

        "Draft the Silicon Valley Tech Lords first. Then the Wall Street Quants."

        I suspect that even the military is too smart to be willing to have the likes of those people on their team.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Draft Resistance v2.0

          You suspect wrong. Once I took they ASVAB and the Nuclear Field Qualification Test, they went full bore on getting me in the US Navy. My boot camp company consisted almost entirely of "nukes" (average IQ was 150+), the rest coming in from other services as leavening. Enlistment perks and reenlistment bonuses are the highest in the Navy. Still so as I have a family friend just come off a sub. Wasn't interested in reenlisting, can't blame him as our segment of the Navy has the worst conditions at sea or in port.

          1. JohnFen Silver badge

            Re: Draft Resistance v2.0

            Which are you, a Silicon Valley Tech Lord, or a Wall Street Quant?

    2. Diogenes

      Re: Unfortunately ...

      Yep bin 'der done 'dat, got the ruined knees to prove to prove it.

      Like the estimated 80 is % of Gen Z who would be rejected because too fat or uneducated or drugs(legal or otherwise) or criminal background or mental issues or other illness I would hope to be rejected again for lack of fitness and my new found status of being 'at risk' for diabetes.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Unfortunately ...

        Yep bin 'der done 'dat, got the ruined knees to prove to prove it.

        Ditto on .mil, .gov. and the ruined knees. Reality is more damaged than the knees (60% service connected VA rating). They did classify me as RE3. One phone call and I'm back in uniform, if for some strange reason they want this engineer back. Can't see it. I believe it was to keep a tether on me. The NDA I had to sign was unbelievable.

        There are quite a few of us out there so I have to wonder why they would have to turn to the non-ex-military population. Hell, way back in the '80's when they recomissioned the upgraded Iowa-class battleships, they brought back a bunch of old-timers, on per-diem no less, to train the kids on the big guns.

      2. Diogenes

        Re: Unfortunately ...

        Not sure why the thumbs down.

        I found the 80% estimate after reading a book of fiction on a putative WW3 , thought 'that can't be right' and looked it up this is what I found - realise I mistyped it should have been 70%.

        I was actually offered a position as a Major in the RAAEC just 3 years ago because of my experience as a teacher & and in IT , and would have had 12 months to do the appropriate courses or revert to be a Captain, rather than start as a Captain because I had been a 'proper' officer in the Infantry and had passed selection board for Captain - resigned my commission before any promotion came through.

        I saw the T&Cs and decided I didn't want to play .

  4. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

    Additional spartafication

    "during times of crisis"

    But in the US it's always "times of crisis". When they are not at war (preferably on three fronts, two of which are undeclared), they are at a disadvantage, risking loss of supremacy, garrisonning Africa and Outher Space or else calling upon ballgagged/buttplugged toys like the EU to "spend more" lest security be degraded.

    Now that the idea of a winnable or just a less-than-full nuclear exchange has started to make the rounds at least in the thinktanker and powerpointing circles, are they gearing up for a big show?

    1. Chris G Silver badge

      Re: Additional spartafication

      " the idea of a winnable or just a less-than-full nuclear exchange"

      Laughable but not funny.

      Perhaps they should consider inventing less 'times of conflict' then the relative shortages would be less severe.

    2. JohnFen Silver badge

      Re: Additional spartafication

      "are they gearing up for a big show?"

      I suspect this. I see signs of the US itching to go to war everywhere.

    3. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Re: Additional spartafication

      But in the US it's always "times of crisis"

      Powerful politicians and big business always like a crisis (even if it needs to be manufactured). The former because it lets them get more power, the latter because it's very, very profitable.

      Any day there isn't a "War on .." is an opportunity lost!

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: Additional spartafication

        "But in the US it's always "times of crisis""

        Out of curiosity, what percentage of the time between now and the US becoming a sovereign nation has England been involved in armed conflict outside it's own territory? And for the US in the same timeframe? My gut feeling is the UK has us beat by at least a few percentage points ...

        1. JohnFen Silver badge

          Re: Additional spartafication

          The US has been in an armed conflict for 226 years out of the 242 years it has formally existed. The only time the US went for five consecutive years without war was during the isolationist period during the Great Depression.

          By my calculations, that means the US has been at war to one degree or another for 93% of its lifetime.

          You mention both England and the UK in your question, though -- which one do you mean? They aren't the same thing and don't have the same stats. But, regardless, they are likely to be the same as us, given that both England and the US are (or have been) very into empire-building.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Going by the photo, recruiting pink-haired hackers didn't yield as many recruits as they were hoping.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Always loved the Selective Service...

    After Vietnam the draft was declared unconstitutional, but Registering for the unconstitutional draft is mandatory.

    While I for one can't imagine any possible legal concerns with forcing people on social security to work for less than minimum wage(Private's pay, based on actual hours worked by US servicemen). I don't imagine that will make recruiting STEM students any easier.

    "Hey Timmy, your a bright kid, why don't you give up your dream of being a Janitor and start a career where once you graduate, the government can force you to quit your job, leave your family and move you into a combat zone indefinitely, pay or not pay you at their leisure, potentially for the rest of your life.

    1. FrozenShamrock

      Re: Always loved the Selective Service...

      The 1918 Supreme Court ruling that the draft is constitutional has never been overturned. The US government decided to go with an all-volunteer military as the Vietnam War ended for political reasons; but the draft is still on the books, hence the requirement to register.

    2. disgruntled yank Silver badge

      Re: Always loved the Selective Service...

      Late in the Vietnam War, the draft was declared (by Nixon) inconvenient.

  7. Mark 85 Silver badge

    "You can't simply enlist in the military and say I want to focus on cybersecurity," she said. "Where you end up is not based on willingness or aptitude."

    So.. the potential is then that a highly qualified security person could be drafted... Ok. And given this statement could end up as a mess cook or an MP*? And I note that nothing was said about pay which if at current rates wouldn't do much for the recruitment of qualified people. And then let's add in basic training.. can you see a 40 year old IT person going on a 20 mile run?

    *MP... well it is "security".

    1. vir

      For certain skill sets, you can do pretty well. In the Navy, at least, surgeons, chaplains, etc go through Officer Development School, aka "Knife and Fork" school where they learn basics like "what the ranks are" and "how to put on a uniform". It's 8 weeks long and while there's a minimum level of fitness expected, they also realize that a 50 year-old isn't going to be doing pushups in the surf. Pay isn't anything to write home about but I've run into doctors who come in as captains making $100k a year. Factor in bonuses and they might be closer to $150k.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Got that backwards ... draftees have little choice

      "You can't simply enlist in the military and say I want to focus on cybersecurity," she said. "Where you end up is not based on willingness or aptitude."

      Really now, been advising for years to get a contract for specialty from recruiter ... with a set you free clause if those positions disappear.

    3. LucreLout Silver badge

      can you see a 40 year old IT person going on a 20 mile run?

      Yup. 26.2 of them, in fact. Just not every day please!

    4. JohnFen Silver badge

      " can you see a 40 year old IT person going on a 20 mile run?"

      Looking at around at the devs in my office, yes, I can. Easily. All but one of the 40+ year olds here are in very good physical condition. Even most of the 50+ year old people here could probably do it, but with considerably more complaining.

      1. jake Silver badge

        I'm closer to 60 than 50 ...

        ... and I could probably keep up with the youngsters on that 20 miler if it weren't for the ol' knees. Clean living & all that ... But yes, I'd bitch about it. I never did like running. That's why Gawd/ess invented horses and motorcycles.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I'm closer to 60 than 50 ...

          I've yet to see a (mainframe) computer, radar, radio, or navigation set run away from me. If it did, I'd shoot it. (OTOH, if it doesn't move, you're supposed to paint it.) That's why I find the whole absolute perfect physical health requirement idiotic. I'm fit enough* that if the ship takes some hits, I can fix that too. Just need some pain killers afterward. Not my call though.

          *- I've achieved qualification in all of damage control as well as helmsman, quartermaster and navigator of the watch including underway refueling. I miss it all terribly much.

  8. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

    Not Going to Work

    Between Congress critters and the military way of operating this is not going to work. Drafting various people because of the technical skills to be useful requires thinking outside of the box of how to pay and use them. One issue is Basic Training, may are to old and sick to make it through, so that is out. Also, giving them the rank of private would be rather insulting given the responsibilities many have had.

    The only way I can see this working is by either direct commission (not likely) or using expanded warrant officer grades with a direct warrant.

    1. FrozenShamrock

      Re: Not Going to Work

      That is why many, if not most, helicopter pilots in Vietnam were Warrant Officers and not commissioned Officers.

  9. Chemical Bob

    They can go fuck off

    Had to go through all that selective service crap decades ago. Now that I'm just a few years from retirement, they can bite my shiny metal kneecaps!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: They can go fuck off

      Middle aged myself and if they think they are going to get me up at 5:30am for PT then they are going to get a rude surprise what I do with their code the rest of the day.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: They can go fuck off

      Squeezed through that gap years ago ... all males are required to be registered if you want a govt job.

      Gee, women are exempt.

      MEN 26 AND OLDER — Born 1960 and Later

      According to law, a man must register with Selective Service within 30 days of his 18th birthday. Selective Service can accept a late registration but not after a man has reached his 26th birthday.

      Some men may have failed to register during the time they were eligible to do so and may now find they are ineligible for certain benefits:

      federal student loans and grant programs

      federal job training under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (formerly Workforce Investment Act)

      federal jobs or security clearance as a contractor

      U.S. citizenship for immigrants

      1. jelabarre59 Silver badge

        Re: They can go fuck off

        MEN 26 AND OLDER — Born 1960 and Later

        That's just it, I'm 4 days too old...

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How many of these retired people can pass the drug test. Serious some of the best coders I know toke up. Uncle sam likes his script kiddies drug free.

    1. jake Silver badge

      How many of these retired people can pass the drug test?

      In my experience, well over 90% of the professionals. Probably over half of them rarely or never even drink alcohol. Sorry to burst your bubble, but coding at any level above hobbyist requires a clear mind.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: How many of these retired people can pass the drug test?

        Since when did I say they code hide ? Last time I cheeked weed has short self life . Lots of people I've met in IT have a drink.

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: How many of these retired people can pass the drug test?

          I think you just b0rked my parser ... and possibly proved my point.

      2. lifetime security Bronze badge

        Re: How many of these retired people can pass the drug test?

        Agreed. The idea that one can walk into the workplace drugged out is almost impossible to comprehend. I think you will be walked out of the door very fast. Haven't seen it in Silicon Valley except for a couple of IT admin guys who got walked out.

    2. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

      "How many of these retired people can pass the drug test."

      Well, if they test for Lipitor ....

    3. JohnFen Silver badge

      Anyone who is smart enough to be very skilled at coding is also smart enough to know how to beat a drug test. But the question is -- how many would do it? I might toke up just for the test in an attempt to fail it.

  11. Brian Miller Silver badge

    Right way, wrong way, military way

    "Where you end up is not based on willingness or aptitude."

    No, really? When I was in, many moons ago, the computer MOS were so full that you'd be waiting for three years out of a four year hitch before you touched a keyboard. If they want more people with computer skills, they should look at Signal for them. Lots of clever guys there.

    But what happens after one gets in is nearly random chance. Competence is not a core criteria.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    America Fuck Yeah

    Conscription, because USA-Inc just can't get 'the material' anymore... Surprised? When citizens are now really corporations with their vested interests... When America treats even talented immigrants as lepers... When American Exceptionalism means the disadvantaged from New Orleans to Puerto Rico are forgotten about. Is there any surprise no one wants to volunteer? Like the slow boiling frog, few realize what's going on... This the 100th Fall of Rome moment for the US... America is finished!

  13. doublelayer Silver badge

    An alternative:

    Drafting is not going to solve your problem. When you draft soldiers, you need to train them in fighting. However, forgive me but as difficult, risky, important, and painful as fighting is, it won't take you forever to train. Those in command need more training, but there already exists infrastructure for mass-training privates. Meanwhile, technical staff will need training, if not in the way they operate, at least in the systems they will be using and a good way to integrate their work processes with those of others, with whom they haven't worked.

    Therefore, I suggest an alternative. It consists of three main steps:

    1. Realize how important whatever technical thing you want to do is, and how much it is worth to you to have a prepared staff to deal with it.

    2. Pay sufficiently knowledgeable staff high rates to get them to work with you. If this is more than you are used to paying soldiers, consider that:

    a. Security people are doing something more complicated than following officers' orders and firing weapons, even if it looks nicer;

    b. The risk due to missing security personnel on a system is greater than the risk of soldiers leaving an area of the battlefield open (if this is not the case, reevaluate and return to step 1);

    c. The amount of damage a mistaken action by a security employee can cause is greater than that a soldier can cause (I'm referring to military readiness and large-scale war footing. I understand that an individual soldier could kill a lot of people by mistake).

    3. Respect your technical employees. Realize that they have alternatives, and that if you put them through something painful or if you don't respect their experience, you will wind up with a lot of semi-technical staff, while the ones you want are cheerfully working for industry. For example, don't immediately discount warnings, as their job is to protect you. Also consider that given part C above, there are probably sufficient advantages to not putting them through some of the worse military pains. Imagine how it would have been if those navy ships in the Pacific (that crashed into other ships due to overworked crew who were not allowed to sleep) had been running military communications and control networks instead of ships.

    1. earl grey Silver badge

      Re: An alternative:

      "mass-training privates"

      I always wanted someone to train my privates.

      You, stand up straight!

      Yes ma''am!

  14. Blofeld's Cat Silver badge

    Hmm ...

    "You can't simply enlist in the military and say I want to focus on cybersecurity," she said. "Where you end up is not based on willingness or aptitude."

    "The Army has carried the American democratic ideal to its logical conclusion, in the sense that, not only do they prohibit discrimination on the grounds of race, creed and colour, but also on the grounds of ability."

    Tom Lehrer - It makes a fellow proud to be a soldier.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Quality of education

    All I can say is that this vindicates the old engineers and other professionals complaining about the fall in standards of education. Looks like even though most of the economy is dependent on IT, they can't produce enough quality graduates to fill in essential roles.

  16. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

    Could be interesting

    Old age and treachery will overcome youth and skill.

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: Could be interesting

      Old age, experience and treachery will overcome youth and potential skill.


    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Could be interesting

      Oh yes, I can do evil very well. Slip in some irony for extra points.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    On the other side,

    Didn't their staffs recently continued to leave due to moral issue? I mean ever since Snowden's whistleblowing.

    If they aren't going to fix the actual problem, then it's not going to stop their staffs from leaving.

  18. DavCrav Silver badge

    What are they going to do? Point rifles at you and say "You build database now"? You might be able to draft a naive 18 year old to fight, because he dies otherwise. But unless this coding is taking place in a warzone, that's going to be harder with a 45-year old software designer.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ask the public...

    ...then ignore the input like the FCC did on Net neutrality. I suspect that the military would have far better success if they were to have contracts with reliable entities who could employ grain haired talent instead of conscription. These people would need to be working on hardened systems not necessarily telecommunicating from home.

  20. Christoph

    "the conscription of technical talent, including those with computer-oriented skills"

    "consider how to encourage more people to participate in military, national and public service"

    'Encourage' people by conscripting them? Did the Ministry of Truth write that?

    Force middle-aged highly-skilled coders to join the army and leave their families, give them low pay and lousy conditions, subject them to military discipline and force them to obey the orders of incompetent unqualified Ruperts, tell them to help you invade other countries and massacre the populations, and then order them to write good code? Whoever thought of that has no conception whatever of the process of writing high-quality code.

    1. Christoph

      Oh yes, and "Learn to code, and you can be eligible for the draft for your entire career!"

      How to encourage more people into computing.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I can't speak for the Air Force but for the other services if you have a unique talent, they treat you with kid gloves. I spent half my 13+ year career as a de facto CTO despite being a mid-grade (E3-6) enlisted puke. Having saved a major IT project where heads would roll starting with admirals, I didn't have to worry about promotion, not that that was ever a problem. My formal title was "Special Projects." Nice little box right off the top of the table of organization, me and a couple of petty officers I was training as my replacements. And yes, I did code. It was all safety critical so zero bugs was essential. No one ever found one, yet. Fuck up that kind of code and end up in a federal prison. No thank you. As a matter of fact, I learned from IBM engineers, back in the day, who had that mindset already.

      I'm autistic, beyond Asperger's, so compatibility with rank structures wasn't something I could do. As I said, they treat you with kid gloves and accept your quirks. Same with my sister in the Army and the people I knew from the Marine Corps. So, what you are portraying it as and the reality on the ground, or at sea, aren't true.

  21. Peter2 Silver badge

    Like most other people, I don't think this is liable to work well as the traditions and culture that the Army requires to be an effective fighting force are not in accordance with the conditions required for hacking or coding and I don't see any easy way of reconciling them.

    What they probably need to do is to start a new organisation and then design it from the ground up to work in this enviroment, incorporating such elements from other organisations as are required to create a coherent and effective work culture.

    Which will probably never happen, since the existing organisations will fight tooth and nail to maintain themselves, and actually acheiving the end goal is something that is considered somewhere after making sure that their existing ineffective efforts are not shown up by a new and more effective organisation.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No me

    If they tried to draft me, I would walk in smoking a joint, rambling about how I'm going to expose more than Snowden and bring their murdering in the name of oil and opium asses to the public media (not cnn, fox and npr; the gov puppets)

    1. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

      Re: No me

      Not singing Alice's Restaurant?

    2. lifetime security Bronze badge

      Re: No me

      And you don't think the people already serving don't know this already? They used to mark bombs with the names of oil companies before loading them on planes ...

  23. EveryTime

    I remember being required to register for the SS (*) in order to get student loans. That was a time when the unfairness of the draft should have still been in people's heads. Instead it felt like the general attitude was "I'm past the draft age so I'm now OK with it."

    I decided to *not* forget and to not change my attitude when I was older than draft age.

    Don't bring back trench warfare. Don't bring back the draft.

    (*) They didn't even bother with a better name, like Backup Service

  24. Speltier

    Where do I Sign Up?

    Preferably Navy. Crypto (no, not "cryptocurrency"!), security, quantum... no drugs, but grey hair. 1H.

  25. lifetime security Bronze badge

    Trend of hiring only young software engineers

    The whole scam around hiring only young engineers has us in this mess; software written without any consideration for quality or security. Talk to anyone who interviewed with Google or Facebook and they will tell you that all the questions are geared towards new college graduates. People over 40 are considered old timers. FB even has a group for over 40 people. After being at the cutting edge of software engineering for more than 30 years, I am still trying to master the beast.

    Other companies have followed the Google/FB model and it is disconcerting the amount of blatant age discrimination that goes on. It is fairly overt. Maybe the government should hire these more experienced engineers. It spends these billions of dollars. Most of these engineers are very capable.

  26. handleoclast

    Simple solution

    Since the military are using increasing numbers of UAVs firing hellfire missiles, the simple solution is to market the control software as a game. People will pay the military to (unwittingly) control drone strikes in $whatever_country_pissed_us_off_this_week.

    "Well done, Timmy, you got the highest score this week. Have a pat on the head. That entitles you to a discount on the upgrade to version 2 of the s/w."

    "Mr President, one of our operatives wiped out 37 wedding parties this week! That's a new high score."

    Actually, although written in jest, that may turn out frighteningly close to what will happen in the not-so-distant future.

    1. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

      Re: Simple solution

      Enders Game

  27. HellDeskJockey

    Then again

    A few grumpy oldsters might be just the thing. Listen kid if you try and breach this network once more there is going to be a drone over your house at ...... Now fuck off and let me take my nap.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Now if they'd only extend something like this... deal with the alleged tech talent shortage in the U.S. business community. There are plenty of grey-haired IT folks who still want to work but cannot given the corporations' use of the loopholes in the anti-ageist laws that are big enough to drive a freakin' train through.

  29. oldhacker

    My worse time in college was in ROTC

    I hated all the military BS. I hated wearing uniforms, spit shining shoes, and polishing the brass. I suspect that I'm not unique. I wouldn't mind serving my country in a civilian atmosphere. I suspect that might even be interesting. That was why I got in the computer field.

    There's no way that I'd put up with military BS anymore. It's just not for me. Let them draft some useless congress critters or maybe Trump. He thinks he's a tough guy. Maybe he could get coffee for the hackers.

  30. Geezer1953

    Largely a self-made problem

    I went to a defense-focused cybersecurity job fair a few years ago, but despite having over 10 years experience in the bank sector, they wouldn't talk to me unless I already had a security clearance. I've seen job descriptions with such bizarrely specific experience requirements that it seemed like they weren't really trying to hire anyone other than a senior tech of one of their competitors. I suggest they beef up the IQ levels of middle management first, and then try to devise more adequate hiring strategies.

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