Gen. Richard Cody, the Army's Vice Chief of Staff, strongly voiced his frustration and disappointment on behalf of senior Army leaders. His frustration stems from a mass-mailing of a letter sent Dec. 26-28 to more than 5,100 Army officers who recently served, encouraging the former officers to consider returning to military service. "Every Army leader is just sick that this happened," he said Jan. 6.

Unfortunately, the database used to address those letters contained names of officers who were killed in action or wounded. The database was thoroughly reviewed to remove the names of wounded and deceased Soldiers. But, an earlier list was used inadvertently for the December mailings.

The Army is personally re-contacting the families of about 75 deceased officers and 200 wounded officers to apologize. "This is an inexcusable mistake. Five years into this war, the Army can do better than this -- and we will," Cody said. "At the beginning of the day and at the end of the day, Soldiers are the most important entity in our Army, and because we care so much for them -- especially those who have fallen or are dealing with their wounds -- every database must be accurate, will be managed personally so that we can properly care for our Soldiers and families."

The Army is ensuring the correct database is used in future mailings. "I can't imagine how these Soldiers and family members felt upon receiving those letters," Cody said. "Army senior leaders also plan on personally contacting them in writing to apologize and let them know that the Army is still a family made strong by caring leadership and strong Army families."

The data base problem has been corrected, and Army officials immediately began contacting those officers' families to personally apologize for erroneously sending the letter.

For more information, contact Paul Boyce, U.S Army Public Affairs, (703) 697-2564.