While working at the Pentagon as a science adviser for the Marine Corps, Franz Gayl - himself a Marine - volunteered to deploy to Iraq. Upon his return he alerted the office of the Secretary of Defense, and later the Congress and the media, to critical equipment shortages. These included Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles (MRAPs), ground and air battlefield surveillance systems, and 'directed energy' non-lethal weapons. Gayl's public outcry exposed the fact that the Corps had failed to provide Marines in Iraq with life saving technologies.
Gayl maintained that had MRAPs been available to troops when they were requested, countless deaths and casualties could have been prevented. In fact, former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates accredited MRAPs with saving "thousands of lives," and VP Biden has acknowledged Gayl's central role in raising the visibility of their need through his whistleblowing. Yet, Gayl has been the target of years of retaliatory investigations and workplace harassment, including the elimination of meaningful duties and the extended suspension of his security clearances.