Re: Why did it take so long?
I wonder how many times this happens to the rank and file and if the DoD contests all of them? Or is it just the higher ranks that get the extra protection.
Until not long after I first met her, the late Mrs Cynic was a member of the Massachusetts Air National Guard, and consequently had similar service organisations.
She had a curiously ambivalent attitude towards her service(1), but when an employer threatened to fire her if she didn't use her allotted vacation days to cover her two-week ANG service obligation, she went to the ANG's legal department. Their lawyer took it *very* seriously and told her that he would call the employer and remind him of his legal obligations and evidently he persuaded the employer of the error of his ways, since she never heard another word about it from either the employer or the ANG.
(1) Best described like this: she never *liked* being there (neither in the ANG nor in the regular Air Force from which she departed under a program called "Palace Chase"), but people who criticised her or, worse, called her a bad person simply because she was in the Armed Forces, tended to get an epic earful.