McHugh Cites Major Improvements at Arlington National Cemetery

WASHINGTON, Sept. 21, 2011 — Sec­re­tary of the Army John M. McHugh today released a report to Con­gress, updat­ing improve­ments made at Arling­ton Nation­al Ceme­tery more than a year after he oust­ed the cemetery’s lead­er­ship and made sweep­ing changes in its struc­ture and over­sight.

Arlington National Cemetery, Va.
Each grave in Arling­ton Nation­al Ceme­tery, Va., was dec­o­rat­ed with an Amer­i­can flag on Memo­r­i­al Day, May 30, 2011.
U.S. Army pho­to by Antho­ny Walk­er
Click to enlarge

“In just over a year, the cemetery’s new man­age­ment team has made major progress in rec­on­cil­ing decades’ worth of paper records with phys­i­cal grave­side inspec­tions to regain account­abil­i­ty,” McHugh wrote in a let­ter to mem­bers of Con­gress. “They have put in place new poli­cies and pro­ce­dures to pro­tect against and pre­vent the type of errors uncov­ered in the Army’s pre­vi­ous inves­ti­ga­tions,” the let­ter says. “Equip­ment and train­ing have been mod­ern­ized, con­tract­ing pro­ce­dures revamped, a his­toric part­ner­ship cre­at­ed with the Depart­ment of Vet­er­ans Affairs, the work­force improved and rein­vig­o­rat­ed, and ongo­ing out­reach and infor­ma­tion has been pro­vid­ed to fam­i­ly mem­bers and the Amer­i­can public.” 

McHugh pro­vid­ed the report to con­gres­sion­al over­sight com­mit­tees in response to leg­is­la­tion seek­ing the sta­tus of reforms he direct­ed. In com­pil­ing the report, McHugh direct­ed the Army’s inspec­tor gen­er­al to again inspect the facil­i­ty to deter­mine compliance. 

An ear­li­er inspec­tor gen­er­al report, also ordered by McHugh, found fail­ures in man­age­ment and over­sight that con­tributed to the loss of account­abil­i­ty, lack of prop­er automa­tion, inef­fec­tive con­tract com­pli­ance and a dys­func­tion­al workforce. 

“Per­haps most impor­tant, the inspec­tor gen­er­al found the mis­man­age­ment that exist­ed pri­or to these changes no longer exists,” he told Con­gress yes­ter­day. “And that sig­nif­i­cant progress has been made in all aspects of the cemetery’s per­for­mance, account­abil­i­ty and modernization. 

“We’re con­fi­dent that the Army is on the right path toward repair­ing the cemetery’s fail­ures and restor­ing the con­fi­dence of Con­gress and the Amer­i­can peo­ple,” he added. 

McHugh not­ed that even while mak­ing mas­sive improve­ments in the cemetery’s man­age­ment and over­sight, the pace of 27 to 30 funer­al ser­vices per day — many with full mil­i­tary hon­ors — has not abated. 

“Since 1864, the Unit­ed States Army has been stew­ard of this, the country’s only active mil­i­tary shrine,” he said. “I believe this report will demon­strate the Army’s stead­fast com­mit­ment to repair­ing what was bro­ken in the past, and ensur­ing America’s con­tin­ued con­fi­dence in the oper­a­tion of its most hal­lowed ground.” 

U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs) 

Face­book and/or on Twit­ter

Team GlobDef

Seit 2001 ist im Internet unterwegs, um mit eigenen Analysen, interessanten Kooperationen und umfassenden Informationen für einen spannenden Überblick der Weltlage zu sorgen. war dabei die erste deutschsprachige Internetseite, die mit dem Schwerpunkt Sicherheitspolitik außerhalb von Hochschulen oder Instituten aufgetreten ist.

Alle Beiträge ansehen von Team GlobDef →