By Mr. Paul Boyce (FORSCOM)March 23, 2007
The U.S. Army anticipates receiving the Department of Defense Inspector General investigation into the death of Cpl. Patrick Tillman soon. The Army requested an independent review by the Department of the Defense Inspector General June 2, 2005, into the circumstances surrounding his death in Afghanistan. It also is examining the Army's procedures following Cpl. Tillman's April 22, 2004, death. The Army plans to take appropriate actions after receiving the Inspector General's report. The Army has not yet officially received the report from the Department of Defense Inspector General.
The Army did not wait for this investigation's conclusion to take actions improving casualty-notification procedures and posthumous valor-award procedures over the past two years. The Army now requires an officer to review initial casualty information and verify its accuracy based on known information at the time. The Army updated Army Regulation 600-8-1, "Casualty Operations," to require Army Regulation 15-6 investigations into all hostile deaths. This policy applies the thorough investigative technique to initial casualty circumstances ensuring families ultimately receive accurate information.
The Army's Casualty and Mortuary Affairs Operations Center also is required to be notified by unit commanders and the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command of ongoing death investigations, and for both to provide copies of the reports upon completion so the Center may cross-reference these investigations with the initial casualty information provided after the Soldier's death.
The U.S. Army requested last year an independent review by the Defense Department Inspector General following unit-level Army Regulation 15-6 investigations and an Army Safety Board investigation.
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