By Army News ServiceMarch 26, 2007
WASHINGTON (Army News Service, March 27, 2007) - Army officials announced yesterday specific actions that will be taken in response to the Department of Defense Inspector General's review of the events following the death of Cpl. Patrick Tillman on April 22, 2004, in Afghanistan.
The DoD IG report includes the detailed report of a battlefield-death investigation conducted by the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command.
Acting Secretary of the Army Pete Geren directed Gen. William S. Wallace, commanding general of the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, to begin an immediate review of actions by officers cited in the DoD IG report. Wallace was the V Corps commanding general during the first missions into Baghdad.
"I have directed General Wallace to examine the actions of each of the individuals named in this report and to take appropriate action," Geren said. "I have asked for an interim progress report from General Wallace within 30 days."
"It is important to the Tillman family, to our Army and to the American people that we resolve this matter as quickly as possible," the acting secretary said. "Far too much time has passed in getting things right in this case. This delay does a disservice to the Tillman family and to the credibility of our Army."
Geren also said the Army had been given advance notice of findings in the DoD IG report concerning the Silver Star posthumously awarded to Tillman. The Army completed a review March 17 affirming that the process associated with the award was appropriate.
"I have approved the board's recommendation to affirm the award of the Silver Star, but to modify the award citation's wording to more accurately reflect the circumstances on the ground and Corporal Tillman's valorous actions of April 22, 2004," the acting secretary said.
Geren said the Army did not wait for the IG report to improve casualty notification and posthumous valorous award procedures over the past two years. Unit commanders and the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command are required to notify the Army's Casualty and Mortuary Affairs Operations Center of ongoing death investigations, and to provide copies of the investigative reports upon completion to enable the center to cross-reference the investigations with the casualty information provided after the Soldier's death - all with a view to ensuring that the families of the Army's fallen receive the most accurate and current information.
With respect to posthumous valorous awards, the Army now requires a field-grade officer to review both the initial casualty information and any completed investigations before approving an award, Geren said. This ensures the award accurately reflects the actual events and circumstances for which it is being presented.
A redacted copy of the March 25 U.S. Army Special Forces Command report is available at the Army's online Freedom of Information Act Reading Room at report.