Shattered Minds is the first book to investigate how American military bureaucracies have let our troops down by failing to upgrade one of the most important pieces of personal safety equipment: the combat helmet.
Two longtime employees of North Dakota defense contractor Sioux Manufacturing discovered that the required density of the Kevlar material woven into the netting of combat helmets was being shorted. After bringing their discovery to the attention of management, their boss, rather than cleaning up the illegal practice, accused them of having an adulterous affair. Both employees were fired, leading to a lawsuit and a court judgment in their favor that eventually brought the company’s bad-faith practices to light. Around the same time, a separate whistleblower, a retired Navy doctor, was pulled into a bizarre struggle with Army and Marine bureaucracies when he discovered from his Marine grandson that the protective webbing inside the military helmets was inadequate. Why was the military so resistant to upgrading the most essential piece of gear to protect soldiers from traumatic brain injury?
Interweaving these two whistleblower stories, Robert H. Bauman and Dina Rasor explain why the military, despite news coverage and congressional hearings on the faulty helmet, continued to do the indefensible. They also suggest how the public, the press, and military institutions can remedy the problem to give U.S. troops effective helmets when serving to protect their country.