Center for American Progress Action

RELEASE: Despite Announcing His ‘Retirement,’ General Who Oversaw Walter Reed Scandal Still Serving In Army
Press Release

RELEASE: Despite Announcing His ‘Retirement,’ General Who Oversaw Walter Reed Scandal Still Serving In Army

Washington, DC – On March 12, the Pentagon announced that Army Surgeon General Lt. Gen. Kevin Kiley, who oversaw neglect at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center, was resigning, effective immediately. NBC News Pentagon correspondent Jim Miklaszewski reported that it was “very likely” Kiley “would be reduced in retirement, at least one rank” and “be forced to retire at that two-star level.”

In order to retire as a three-star general, Kiley would have had to do at least three years of active-duty service in that grade. The higher the grade, the greater the retirement pay and benefits a general receives.

Kiley was appointed Army Surgeon General on Sept. 30, 2004. Therefore, as Miklaszewski noted, he retired before serving out his three-year term at the three-star level.

But ThinkProgress has learned that Kiley is still serving at the Pentagon, despite announcing his “retirement” in March. An official in the Department of the Army Public Affairs told ThinkProgress:

He [Kiley] is no longer serving as the Army Surgeon General but is in a transition status pending his retirement. ‿ Currently Maj. Gen Kiley does not have a specific retirement date. He is no longer performing any duties related to The Surgeon General and is pending retirement.

When asked why the Army didn’t immediately ask for Kiley’s retirement in March, we were told that such information was “protected under the Privacy Act which restrict disclosure of information pertaining to administrative actions or personal communication.”

The law states that if an officer does not serve at that grade for three years, “the Secretary of Defense may authorize the Secretary of a military department to reduce such period to a period not less than two years.” Therefore, the Army may still be holding open the door to the possibility that Kiley may serve through September and retire with the pay and benefits of a three-star general.

During his time overseeing Walter Reed and serving as Army Surgeon General, Kiley ignored the neglect at Walter Reed. As far back as 2003, Kiley was told “that soldiers who were wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan were languishing and lost on the grounds.” He also ignored Beverly Young, the wife of Rep. Don Young (R-AK), when she told him about a soldier at Walter Reed “lying in urine on his mattress pad.” Even after the Washington Post investigation, Kiley claimed that the problems at Building 18 “weren’t serious.”