03 March, 2007

Accountability at Walter Reed, II

Over at Blackfive, commenter "Red River" perfectly illustrates the most common attitude of military personnel toward the mess at Walter Reed:

"Getting the Secretary of the Army to resign, or firing command staff at Walter Reed will not fix the problems at the hospital. Only increased hospital funding will fix the issues." [quoting another commenter]

I totally disagree. Many times my unit was deployed to JRB or remote hellholes. We made it a point of pride to repaint, rewire, replumb, or resheetrock our billets. We ALWAYS did something.

...The two months I was on medical casualty as a Sgt I kept a dozen specialists and PFCs busy with barracks and grounds improvements. We put in new floors and completely redid grounds. No one told me to do it - I just suggested it and the Medical Unit's CSM found the materials. Even a guy in a wheelchair can hold a paint can. It did wonders for these guys to do something instead of sitting around moping about their mashed up bodies.

No matter where you are posted, it's the duty of the senior enlisted and officers to lead with whatever means they have. A good S4 can motivate his supply sergeant to trade for what is needed.

It's the chain of command's duty to take care of their soldiers and it's as much the fault of Reed's commander as it is the CSM or the SFCs.

I noticed that the entire [outpatient] chain of command at Reed was replaced down to the PLT SGTS. Enough said.