Defense Secretary Robert Gates accepted the resignation of Army Secretary Francis Harvey Friday afternoon, telling reporters: “I am disappointed that some in the Army have not adequately appreciated the seriousness of the situation pertaining to outpatient care at Walter Reed. Some have shown too much defensiveness and have not shown enough focus on digging into and addressing the problems.” Harvey earlier had relieved Maj. Gen. George Weightman of command at Walter Reed where he had served only since last August. As a temporary replacement, Harvey named Army Surgeon General Lt. Gen. Kevin Kiley, who commanded the Army’s elite medical center before Weightman. However, that decision created a firestorm, with critics citing Kiley’s indifference to the center’s outpatient woes during his two-year stint. Reportedly a few lower ranking soldiers were removed from their positions at Walter Reed, but Gates clearly has directed his ire toward leaders, many of whom, including Harvey, expressed surprise over the Walter Reed problems. The Army on Friday tapped Maj. Gen. Eric Schoomaker, brother to the Army Chief of Staff Gen. Peter Schoomaker, to lead the medical center.
An Active-Duty Airman set himself on fire in front of the Israeli Embassy this afternoon, the Air Force confirmed to Air & Space Forces Magazine. The man, who was taken to the hospital and is in critical condition, has not yet been publicly identified.