Asking One Question Got This Man Fired From The Military

There may be no American organization more hierarchical, or that demands more unquestioning obedience, than the U.S. military. There is no person more powerful in this organization than the President of the United States. And there is no order more potentially devastating than to dispatch a thermonuclear missile, and start World War III.

For a nuclear missile crewmember at the receiving end of this order, there is one question that is as world-shakingly important as it is impossible to find an answer to: When you get that command, and millions of innocent people will be dead in a blink, how do you know the president hasn't gone mad?

Air Force Maj. Harold Hering asked that question, as Ron Rosenbaum writes in Slate, in the middle of missile training class.