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“I want to serve as if I had never blown the whistle,” Mr. MacLean said. “I want President Obama to bring back all national-security whistleblowers to serve in federal government again.”

Jon Adler, president of the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, said his group does not know the total number of air marshals who were fired or retaliated against for blowing the whistle on problematic policies or mismanagement, but said the impact was widespread.

“Not only did it impact the whistleblower, but it clearly impacted morale. Being a whistleblower brought instant career death,” Mr. Adler said.

“I’m optimistic the new administration will give this due consideration. The goal of the proposed executive order is not only to make us whole, but to restore everyone’s confidence in the whistleblower process, and right now, there isn’t any.”

Mr. Taylor called the issue a challenge to the Obama administration’s campaign promises to change the way Washington does business.

“If they are true in wanting to change government, they should step forward and make whistleblowers who have blown the whistle on corrupt and government malfeasance to be made whole again,” Mr. Taylor said. “There is not an American out there who wouldn’t want a person speaking out on corruption and malfeasance. Whistleblowers should be viewed as modern-day patriots, not pariahs.”

But after 35 years in law enforcement, nearly 30 of them in the Drug Enforcement Agency, Mr. Strange said he doesn’t expect a phone call any time soon to return to the Federal Air Marshal Service.

“I’ve lost confidence in the way the government handles this stuff,” Mr. Strange said.