Because of the short length of my tour on the Abe Lincoln, I've been assigned as the w/c sup for my department's Admin. My experiences here tie in with the theme of the WAPO story; that of a profound lack of accountability within the system and tone-deaf leadership.
Obviously, this is a long-standing complaint among military personnel but it never ceases to amaze me how dumb the system can get.
We once had a sailor whose pregnant wife died while we were on deployment, leaving two young children behind in Japan. Even with daily COD flights and the personal authorization of the Commanding Officer of our ship, the guy was not able to fly off for two days because of paperwork snafus. There was no punishment for the personnel clerks who screwed up and attempts by his direct chain of command to at least have training conducted on the process were stymied by the Admin Officer who refused to admit any fault.
Now seeing it firsthand fighting paperwork battles for folks in dire straits (deaths, serious illnesses, financial problems, child abuse cases), it becomes clear that there is just no "quick" or even "short-term" way to make things right, even in an emergency.
Perhaps some sort of public reporting about this on a daily basis by a few retirees and others could help... i.e. using blogs, MySpace and Facebook to shame the system into reform.