"And now, if you will raise your right hand and repeat after me, I will administer the Oath of Office," said the chief clerk. The Oath of Office! The words were clear. Deceptively simple.
I, Bernard Rosen, do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.
Participation in a nationwide competitive examination, interviews, forms filled out, the Oath, and now I was an employee of the United States government-the executive branch!
During more than 30 years in the federal civil service, my duties to be "well and faithfully" discharged spanned a series of necessary and often exciting assignments that ranged from recruiting workers for Pearl Harbor in order to help rebuild the fleet that was destroyed by Japan's surprise attack, to White House meetings on issues related to improving the effectiveness of government--meetings that on some occasions included even the president. Along the way, I wrestled with management policies and practices of federal agencies as they operated in all 50 states and in many other countries. This involved discussing problems and possible solutions--testifying before congressional committees, listening to and talking with congressmen, senators, governors, agency officials, news media reporters,