Remember senior spring in high school? Now imagine if you could take all the irresponsibility, sex, and drinking, but set it 40,000 feet in the air and throw in a gun and federal mandate. Look at that guy! Look at his shades!
The Center for Investigative Reporting took a nosedive into the world of the workaday sky marshal, which you probably assumed was a constant firefight up the aisles between drink service, piling up bodies of the enemy. But, maybe because there haven't been any attempting domestic air hijackings in fourteen years, these armed air-guardians don't do much of anything other than party, fuck, and waste money:
The internal inquiry-turned-criminal investigation appears to revolve around the service's Herndon, Virginia, dispatch center and a flight schedule coordinator accused of offering to help snag better assignments in exchange for personal or sexual favors.
Think about your current job. You're probably just sitting on your ass all day anyway—now imagine if your ass was in the sky. A perpetual vacation. Atmospheric holiday. Endless peanuts. It doesn't even matter if you fuck up:
In one recent case, an air marshal lost his badge after inviting a woman he had met at a bar to his hotel room in Portland, Oregon, said Sonya Hightower, a retired air marshal and representative of the Air Marshal Association.
Don't you wish your job would fly you anywhere, for basically no reason?
"It's a travel agent service. Wouldn't it be nice to pull someone out of their seat and fly for free?" said Donna Leuck, who retired from the service in March 2014 after 12 years as an air marshal based in Orlando.
Don't you wish your job would send you to Hawaii just because you feel like it?
Joseph Zappa, who retired from the air marshals' Las Vegas office last year, said a supervisor took multiple trips to Hawaii during a time when he was considering retiring there.
Don't you wish your job came with a low chance of encountering a terrorist?
With few bad guys to chase, however, insiders say many air marshals have ended up chasing lovers instead. In the eyes of some air marshals, it turned the service not just into a travel agency, but a giant flying fraternity party.
Don't you wish your job was largely an excuse to chase butt across the globe?
"Some would (pretend to) be a pediatrician. Or, if there was a convention at the hotel, they'd go to the convention, see what it was about and use that as their cover story," he said. "Next thing you know, they'd have women in their rooms."
Don't you wish your job gave you an opportunity to buy and smuggle drugs while also being a cop?
The party atmosphere went beyond drinking and having numerous lovers around the country, Lacson and others say. Lacson said he knew air marshals on international missions who purchased steroids, testosterone, Viagra and other pharmaceutical drugs without prescriptions and brought them back into the United States.
This job is so great that the whistleblowers are jaded about stuff like this:
"That's what it's become: 'Where are we going drinking tonight, and how many hookers are we picking up?' " he said. "The majority of the people I flew with, the men that are married and have families, they go out and they pick up prostitutes overseas. It's a way to kill time."
Not only have people quit this dream job, but some have hired an attorney to represent them in disputes with the agency. The attorney sounds like a real wet blanket:
"The problem with this agency is that the air marshals have no real job to do. There has never been a hijacking or any real aviation threat since the inception of the agency," he said. "So you have thousands of air marshals flying around on the taxpayers' dime, gallivanting all over the world. They sleep in five-star hotels and run wild like college kids on spring break once they get off duty overseas."
If air marshals are meant to protect our noble American way of life, there's no better way than by living the American dream: being paid to fuck around in a padded chair and take naps after cheating on your spouse in a hotel room.