Federal Drive interviews – Sept. 26

This is the Federal Drive show blog. Here you can listen to the interviews, find more information about the guests on the show each day and links to additional resources.

Today’s guests:

Jennifer NorrisNational Victim Advocate, Military Rape Crisis Center


As Defense Secretary Leon Panetta orders the military to curb sexual assaults, the Air Force is reeling from a widening scandal at its training hub in San Antonio. At least 40 female students are accusing 17 male instructors of abuse. The Air Force has ousted the unit’s leaders and put a female colonel in charge. It’s also promised a thorough investigation. But some critics say that’s not enough. Jennifer Norris joined the Maine Air Guard in 1996 and was sexually assaulted by an instructor and a supervisor. She retired from the service for PTSD from military sexual trauma and is now a victim advocate at the Military Rape Crisis Center in Maine. She also sits on the advisory board of Protect our Defenders, a group urging Congress to get involved. She explains that not only to do women service members fear retaliation from their superior officers but they also fear seeking counseling because a mental health record could prevent them from obtaining promotions or specific assignments in the future.

Kevin BogardusStaff Writer, The Hill

A ban on gifts from lobbyists already in place for political appointees may be expanded to cover all federal workers. The Office of Government Ethics first proposed the rule last year but no action has been taken since then. Trade groups are worried that if President Barack Obama is re-elected, he’ll enact the rule, which would also ban federal workers from attending lobbyist-sponsored events. Kevin Bogardus explains how the rules work today and why the changes are being proposed.

Also on the show:

How NASA’s Curiosity rover got 1.1M Twitter followers

DHS cultivates cyber workforce, tools

Small agencies’ sequestration plans build from budget frustrations

Sequestration threat revives the F-word

Cybersecurity Update:

DoD Report: