Mark, reality is reality. Government work is not the "shiny happy place" as some would have you think. You can be as innovative as you want however, if it's not in a policy/directive/publication/order....it's not going to be done at the "organizational" level. Especially in DoD. Everything is "regulated" to a T. Change comes from "on high". The millenials have a "sour" taste in their mouth for the unsteady, unpredictable and sit back and wait (to see if someone calls you for a job) government work. It is no longer about wrapping yourself in the flag and working for mom, apple pie and the American way. The regulations have strangled innovation.
This generation is much too educated and free thinking than the hippies in the 60's ever though of being. They are not going to work in a telemarketing cubicle for 8 hours a day and read regulations. I have spoken to many interns and asked, "please come back after graduation" we would love to have you. The answer I get is, "No way, your starting pay for entry level engineers is a GS5, I'm not working for that, I have student loans to pay back." My heart sank. These are great kids and they ran for the private sector as fast as they tossed their cap into the air.
This is the real world. A BRAC could come along and wipe out the entire economy of our little burg and push people into poverty. I have seen it happen. The government isn't the golden goose it used to be.