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Good riddance to former Army Sec Harvey
Posted by: McQ on Saturday, March 03, 2007


Well it's a personal pet peeve of mine I guess. As it turns out, Army Secretary Francis J. Harvey didn't resign over the leadership failures at Walter Reed Army Medical center, he was asked to leave.

I could see the commander being relieved. That made sense. But I was a little surprised by Harvey leaving. I thought, at first, that he was taking responsibility for the debacle. And I was fairly impressed. Quite a statement of accountability.

Not a chance. Instead SecDef Gates told him to hit the door.

And my respect for Gates has risen considerably. You see, Mr. Harvey had the blame for this all figured out:
In a visit to the outpatient facility last month before it was fixed up, Mr. Harvey called the conditions inexcusable. But he went on to place the blame for the situation on noncommissioned officers.

“We had some N.C.O.’s who weren’t doing their job, period,” Mr. Harvey said.
I have to tell you, when I read that my blood boiled.

NCOs don't work alone or in a vacuum. The have bosses. And those bosses are officers. If the NCOs were failing in their jobs, then the officers in command of them were failing even worse. For a Secretary of the Army to try and pin blame on some NCOs for a leadership problem that could be easily traced to a much higher level is inexcusable.

Gates made the right call and kudos to him for not screwing around and playing diplomatic and face-saving games. Harvey deserved to be canned immediately for those remarks alone and I applaud Gates for doing so.
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Previous Comments to this Post 

"We had some N.C.O.’s who weren’t doing their job, period," Mr. Harvey said.
I can’t believe he actually said that. The NCO in me is boiling too. He may have been right about some of them not doing their jobs, with the CSM of the facility coming to mind first and foremost, but this kind of pass the buck attitude is inexcusable. And your analysis is spot on. Mr. Harvey, don’t let the door hit ya where the good Lord...well, you know what I mean.
Written By: cjd
URL: http://
As a former NCO (e5) I agree with you. There has to be at least an O5 directly involved in amess this big and probably an O6 based on the coverup steps (failed)attempted after the first article a month ago.
Written By: Rodney A Stanton
URL: http://
Amen, McQ. It appears he was never in the military service. This from his official bio:
Prior to becoming the Secretary, Dr. Harvey spent much of his career with corporations that provided products and services to the federal government, particularly the Department of Defense. He has been involved in over 20 major defense programs and was a member of the Army Science Board in the late 1990s. Secretary Harvey also served for one year as a White House Fellow and assistant in the immediate office of the Secretary of Defense, Harold Brown, in the late 1970s.
He clearly didn’t get it. I am sure he will be more comfortable in a wholly civilian environmnet.
Written By: vnjagvet
I am rather curious how Walter Reed, and Bldg. 18 in particular, passed their Inspector General(IG) and Command Maintainence Management (CMMI) inspections. If my memory is correct, these used to be done on an annual basis, and careers could be affected by the results of these inspections. Some of the problems may have existed for over a year, which raises questions in my mind. I also wonder if anyone complained to the IG about the condition of the quarters and the results of any complaints.
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
I also wonder if anyone complained to the IG about the condition of the quarters and the results of any complaints.
Or their congresscritter!
Written By: Mark A. Flacy
URL: http://

Army Medical Command stopped doing outside IG inspections in the late 1980’s. A TDA facilitiy would not get a maintenance inspection. The medical facility would get Joint Commission inspection but they would not care about a guest house.

One of the things that I have realized many people do not understand is that Walter Reed does not function like Fort Hood or Fort Bragg. Also, the normal solutions that would work on "troop" posts usually do not work at Walter Reed.
Written By: superdestroyer
URL: http://
Thank you for the information. I always like to learn something new.

"they would not care about a guest house."

Is that the official status/name of where the outpatients stay? I do not understand why an inspection by this Joint Commission(?) would not be interested in it, unless it is some sort of separate facility. Who has authority/responsibility for this guesthouse? Maybe that is the problem-no clear line of authority.

Written By: timactual
URL: http://
The Joint Commission is what the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations now wants to be called. They are an independent organization that inspects every two to three years and look at the delivery of healthcare specifically health care quality. Their concern would stop at the door to the building except for patient counseling.

In looking at The Walter Reed homepage, it mentions that injuried servic emembers that are outpatient are to report to the Mologne House for assignment of quarters. The Mologne House functions like a hotel. Most military post have such a facility for inprocessing and outprocessing families and short term people.

The Mologne House and Building 18, as far as I know, belong the garrison commander. The garrison is part of the Installation Management Command. See

Written By: superdestroyer
URL: http://
thanks again.
Written By: timactual
URL: http://

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