But, time after time, Alexis seemed to escape the worst potential consequences of his alleged actions. Charges were dropped. The Navy allowed him to leave with an “honorable” discharge, even after a history of misconduct.
And Alexis wound up with a job in information technology, a “secret” government security clearance and a shotgun.
The military’s first job would be to unravel the last apparent failure, in a long chain of them. How did Alexis get onto the tightly guarded base with a gun?
The review ordered by Hagel would examine the physical security of military bases, as opposed to the granting of security clearances to individuals. Hagel’s order came after a similar order issued by Navy Secretary Ray Mabus to examine security procedures at Navy and Marine Corps installations in the United States
Navy officials said their first review would be a quick assessment of current “physical” security procedures, including how visitors are searched at base entrances. A second, longer review would look at access to those bases and whether new regulations might be required.
Neither of those reviews would look at the procedures involved in granting security clearances to contract workers like Alexis, Navy officials said.
Alexis’s employer questioned Tuesday how he could have been granted a “secret”-level security clearance by the government. Thomas Hoshko, chief executive officer of The Experts, said he was disturbed upon seeing media reports about incidents, investigated by police, in which Alexis shot out tires on a construction worker’s car in 2004 and fired through the ceiling of his Fort Worth apartment in 2010, barely missing his upstairs neighbor.
“If I can find this out just by doing a Google search, that is sad,” Hoshko said. “Anything that suggest criminal problems or mental health issues, that would be a flag. We would not have hired him.”
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On Tuesday morning, essential personnel were allowed to return to their offices inside the Navy Yard, a historic base that is home to several major commands and Navy offices and employs about 16,000 military and civilian personnel.
“It’s surreal,” said Cmdr. Andrew House, 46, a Navy lawyer who was headed to his office in the early morning sunshine. “I think one of the important things to do is go back and do the work of the Navy — not let one person stop us from doing that. We need to do the work of the Navy.”
Two miles north, on Pennsylvania Avenue NW, a wreath was placed near the symbolic statue of the Lone Sailor at the Navy Memorial at 10 a.m. The sculpture represents all of the people who have served in the Navy or other sea services. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel attended the ceremony.