Def. Sec. Ash Carter: DOD can be flexible when recruiting, even if you’ve sampled the goodies at Burning Man

Posted at 11:15 pm on September 14, 2016 by Brett T.

Defense Secretary Ash Carter was in Austin, Texas Wednesday for the opening of the Defense Department’s third Defense Innovation Unit-Experimental (DIUx) technology startup location, and in keeping with local tradition, he pledged to keep Austin weird.

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On Tuesday, Carter sat for a talk with TechCrunch senior editor Matt Burns at the #TCDisrupt forum and fielded questions about encryption, innovation, Edward Snowden, building trust with Silicon Valley, and drugs.

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Why drugs? Apparently there was some concern that in its quest to recruit the best and brightest young engineers, the Defense Department might run across an applicant who had recently attended the Burning Man festival and ingested some “goodies.” Would that person still be eligible?

“It depends on what the goodies are,” Carter replied, adding that flexibility would be required to keep up with changing times and noting that individual states were adopting their own drug laws.

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If the nation’s current Commander-in-Chief can joke openly about his days in his high school’s “Choom Gang,” then it seems that times certainly have changed.

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Time for military recruiters set up booths next to the merch table at Phish gigs?

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