Not sure if we have ever linked to it, so here is a link to the West-Clark Report on the Ft. Hood incident.  The official title of the report is “Protecting the Force: Lessons from Fort Hood.”  The report is outwardly very slick and well put together.  Once I get through it, I’ll let you know any thoughts.

One Response to “West-Clark Report on Ft. Hood”

  1. CPT Rob M says:

    What’s frustrating is that arguably the most important part of the report (the chapter on the “alleged perpetrator”) is mostly relegated to the restricted annex. It’s probably restricted for good reason, but without it the rest of the report is a bland AAR for modest systemic improvements in religious support, medical providers, etc. They’re probably good ideas and will address important problems (e.g.the part that the casualty notification system isn’t set up to handle civilian casualties), but they don’t address the core reasons the “alleged perpetrator” was allowed to continue on his career, or, in the words of the report, why “some signs were clearly missed; others ignored.” I wonder if, post trial, the remainder of the report will be released.

    I do like the part in Chapter 1 about how “officership is the essence of being a member of the military profession, regardless of the officer’s speciality.” This problem is not unique to the Medical Corps by any means, and it certainly doesn’t take a tragedy to point it out, but it may be a bigger part of the problem than even the commission realizes. There are MANY officers in many branches who don’t consider themselves part of the “real Army” (incidentally, most of the “real Army” agrees), and correspondingly think that they can and should hold themselves and their subordinates to different, usually lower, standards- mental, physical, professional, or ethical.

    It may be, as the report alludes, that the “alleged perpetrator”‘s chain of command really just cared whether he was a good doctor and never noticed or never cared whether he was also a good Soldier and a good officer. If more chains of command cared about that (and were actually willing to tell their subordinates when they don’t meet the standard) it would fix many problems, most of them not nearly as serious as a murderer in the ranks.

    [For what its worth (and I say this with 6 years in the Army), I think the USMC does this much better- you’re a Marine first, and you’re whatever you do for the Marines second. No matter how many ways the Army has tried to do that, it has never been nearly as successful.]