Video: Walter Reed scandal results in firing

updated 3/1/2007 3:22:16 PM ET 2007-03-01T20:22:16

The Army said Thursday that the two-star general in charge of Walter Reed Army Medical Center has been relieved of command following disclosures about inadequate treatment of wounded soldiers.

Maj. Gen. George W. Weightman, who was commanding general of the North Atlantic Regional Medical Command as well as Walter Reed hospital, was relieved of command by Army Secretary Francis J. Harvey.

In a brief announcement, the Army said service leaders had “lost trust and confidence” in Weightman’s leadership abilities “to address needed solutions for soldier outpatient care” at Walter Reed.

The Army and the Defense Department launched a series of investigations after The Washington Post published a series of stories last week that documented problems in soldiers’ housing and in the medical bureaucracy at Walter Reed, which has been called the Army’s premier caregiver for soldiers wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Gates promised ‘accountability’
After a visit to the hospital compound last Friday, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said those found to have been responsible for the problems at Walter Reed would be “held accountable.”

“A bedrock principle of our military system is that we empower commanders with the responsibility, authority and resources necessary to carry out their mission,” Gates said at the time. “With responsibility comes accountability.”

Weightman’s duties will be assumed temporarily by Lt. Gen. Kevin Kiley, the commander of U.S. Medical Command, until a permanent replacement is found, Harvey said.

“The Army is moving quickly to address issues regarding outpatient care at Walter Reed Army Medical Center,” the announcement said.

Last week the Army took disciplinary action against several lower-level soldiers at Walter Reed, but officials have declined to publicly confirm any details of those actions.

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