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Sleep Deprived, Medicated, Suicidal And Armed: Federal Air Marshals In Disarray (Essay Sample)


Sleep-deprived, medicated, suicidal and armed: Federal air marshals in disarray

1. Issue presented: What is the issue or topic you are writing about?
2. Summary: Prepare a short summary of your paper's research and conclusions.
3. Facts: What are the facts relevant to your topic?
4. Analysis: How are these facts going to affect aviation in the future?
5. Recommendations: What do you recommend doing about the issue you describe?


Sleep-Deprived, Medicated, Suicidal and Armed: Federal Air Marshals in Disarray
While Federal Air Marshals are on very important assignments of protecting aircrafts from terrorists, it is worrying that most of them are under a lot of unidentified, ignored, and unaddressed stress. This usually results from their form of assignments and their schedules. In most of the cases, Federal Air Marshals are assigned on very difficult missions without considering their state of health. This is the reason most of them would go for work while sleep-deprived, overworked, suicidal, and medicated. The major issue is that while undergoing all these forms of tortures and problems, such marshals are armed and thus can either decide to end their lives or those of the people they are protecting. It is therefore unfortunate that numerous reports show that a federal air marshal in a flight might not be after the mission he is assigned to undertake. Once deprived of sleep, medicated, suicidal, and under the influence of drugs and alcohol, the weapon he is carrying to protect the flight occupants might turn against them in a short span of time (Black, Devine and Griffin).
According to CNN, most federal air marshals are put on brutal schedules and work under brutal management that puts their lives at risk as well as those of the flying public. This is based on the fact that air marshals are put on programs that are physically impossible to achieve without having one's health compromised. This can be blamed on the inconsiderate management who does not mind the health needs of the officers. As explained by Institute of Medicine, Board on Health Sciences Policy and Committee on Department of Homeland Security Workforce Resilience, the management in such organizations treats the marshals as machines that can be turned on 24/7 (97). This is the reason a federal air marshal would be scheduled on domestic missions of around four flights each day or even be quickly turned on an overnight international route. When making the schedules, the management does not consider the earlier route and thus might wake up an air marshal who has just slept to another tedious and long mission.
As noted by Hubbard and Bor, irrespective of how tired an air marshal is or how many hours of sleep one is deprived, it is expected that the officer remains awake, ready, and alert to deal with any terrorist irrespective of the time of the attack (17). With 14-16 hours of service each day, it is expected that any officer's ability to function and patience would be greatly compromised. This is the reason most of them decide to take their lives hours before they are picked for the next schedule. In addition, Mueller and Stewart argue that with airline schedule delays, the sleep of the air marshal is delayed or negatively impacted (43). However, the management does not care about this since delaying the air marshal's sleep would not mean relieving him of the later duties. This way, the few hours of sleep the air marshal could enjoy between duties are deprived as a result of airline schedule delays. This would mean that one jumps from one flight to another not for pleasure but expected to be alert and ready to deal with terrorist attacks.
According to Black, Devine and Griffin, air marshals work on a career in which they are expected to be critically accurate and alert at a short notice. In times of a terrorist attack, the air marshal is trained to be able to suspect it even before it starts. This means that one should be ready to prevent the attack or act very fast after it starts such that he quickly protects the flying public. However, this is not possible when working without rest, drunk, or even with inconsiderate management. When worki...

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