JPAC DPAA Command “Acutely Dysfunctional…Disgraceful”

JPAC/DPAA IN THE NEWS

On January 30, 2015,after multiple Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC) scandals were exposed by NBC, CBS, Fox News, NPR, the AP, Stars and Stripes and a host of other media outlets as listed in the links below; the Department of Defense finally announced that JPAC was being dissolved.  The end of JPAC took a total of 569 days from the time the first “MIA WORK ‘ACUTELY DYSFUNCTIONAL’ story was reported in the media on July 7, 2013.  The death of JPAC was he result of the American public and families of our MIAs who channeled their anger, frustration, humiliation, and feelings of betrayal to demand the immediate removal of those responsible for what the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey, called “disgraceful” when he described the situation at JPAC.  With the formal dissolution of JPAC,  the former Secretary of Defense made a good start on his pledge to the American public that a “paradigm shift” away from “outdated, institutionalized thinking” at JPAC was in the offing. 

HOW THE MEDIA BALL GOT ROLLING LEADING TO THE DEATH OF JPAC

In 2013 the Associated Press published a report that revealed some of what went on behind the scenes at JPAC. The report cited JPAC’s management as being “so inept, mismanaged and wasteful that it risks descending from dysfunction to total failure.” The report stated “the decades-old pursuit of bones and other MIA evidence is sluggish, often duplicative and subjected to too little scientific rigor”. In other words, the JPAC Laboratory was obsolete, refused to accept the use of advanced investigative techniques or forensic science, and produced few identifications.

The report noted that the JPAC Command was “woefully inept and even corrupt”. The then JPAC commander, Air Force Major General Kelly K. McKeague, was quoted as saying he would not dispute those who say his organization is dysfunctional. The report noted that in recent years the process by which the JPAC Laboratory field recovery teams gathered bones and other material useful for identifications had “collapsed” and was “acutely dysfunctional.” The report concluded that absent prompt and significant change, “the descent from dysfunction to total failure … is inevitable.”

The internal report was commissioned by the JPAC Laboratory Scientific Director in an effort to place the blame on sections of JPAC other than the Laboratory for what was predicted to be the laboratory’s failure to achieve a 200 identification per year goal mandated by Congress in 2010. Responding to the AP story, the National League of POW/MIA Families issued a statement that “Inaccuracies and manipulated data in his report, largely unfounded assertions and personal accusations reflect a Lab-generated power-play seeking greater Lab control within JPAC”.

A follow-up audit by the Government Accounting Office (GAO) stated JPAC efforts were “undermined by longstanding leadership weaknesses, infighting and other problems” including “a fragmented organizational structure.” Sen. Claire McCaskill vowed “We’re going to get to the bottom of this. The problems…are systemic and seem to extend even beyond the problems identified in this report.” A few days later, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey, in testimony about JPAC before the Senate Armed Services Committee stated, “It’s so discouraging and it’s moving rapidly toward disgraceful.” And the general will find many other disgraceful actions by the JPAC command that will soon become public knowledge. The Washington Post reported “Pentagon to Investigate Allegations of Waste, Fraud, Abuse in JPAC”.

NBC News then ran a story titled “Pentagon Agency Underfire for Refusing to ID World War II Soldiers” stating JPAC “has refused to conduct DNA tests to determine once and for all whose bones are in the graves of the unknowns, even when its own investigators say they have narrowed it down to only one possible match.” The story also noted “The JPAC lab objected first to the formatting of the requests by Stone and other JPAC historians, documents show. The lab rejected reports because commas were in the wrong place, or because they used footnotes instead of endnotes.”

The U.S. Senate conducted a committee hearing in which Senator Claire McCaskill and Senator Kelly Ayotte lambasted Gen. McKeague and DPMO head Montague Winfield over “dysfunctional bureaucracy” and “pettiness, negligence, or willful ignorance”. Senator McCaskill noted that her office had received calls from dozens of whistle blowers. She ordered McKeague to “get it frickin’ done!” and threatened more hearings and Congressional intervention telling Gen. McKeague that he had “better get used to this room” and “we will meet again”.

The American public learned of only a very small part of why the people who worked inside JPAC call it “Camp FUBAR” and “Dysfunction Junction”.  NBC News ran another story titled “PENTAGON UNIT HELD “PHONY” CEREMONIES FOR MIA’S, USING PLANES THAT CAN’T FLY”,  which revealed the “Big Lie” at JPAC whereby the remains of American servicemen and women were used as props in quarterly stage productions to benefit JPAC’s public relations image.  Attempting to deny his own involvement in the fraud, the JPAC Lab Scientific Director claimed in the article that he had no control over the ceremonies.   Yet at these bogus affairs, the JPAC Public Affairs Section created, presented, and staffed only one display for families and visiting dignitaries. This display laid out what was represented to be human bones and skulls and touted the claimed expertise of the JPAC Laboratory, to the exclusions of all the other facets of JPAC, to make identifications of our missing heroes. 

In the article it was revealed that the average length of time for the JPAC laboratory to identify casualties had reached 11 YEARS for each set of remains that are recovered! 

More investigations and hearings followed and more facts about the disgraceful actions of the JPAC command, including of the JPAC laboratory managers, were exposed in the media.  In fact, just a few days before JPAC was officially dissolved a JPAC laboratory manager announced in the media “a big success for us” alleging that  JPAC had made “107 identifications in 2014”.

http://www.stripes.com/news/jpac-107-identifications-of-mia-remains-made-in-2014-1.325044

Bovine excrement said everyone who had any knowledge of JPAC lab operations.  The Department of Defense finally posted on their web site that the number of identifications by the JPAC laboratory in 2014 was actually only 69 and not 107.  Sixty-nine identifications with a total annual budget that exceeded $100 million! 

Ironically, what was intended as a Machiavellian attempt to manipulate the Department of Defense and Congress into believing that the JPAC Laboratory Scientific Director has no responsibility in JPAC’s managerial dysfunction lit the fuse on what exploded into a national scandal causing their own demise and that of their entire agency. 

SPECIAL UPDATE:  January 1, 2017

Sadly, the government’s idea of the massive reform necessary after JPAC was disbanded was a superficial name change of the organization and re-shuffling the same poor executives and laboratory managers to new desks and titles in a brand new $85 million dollar building in Hawaii. Disgraceful!
 
A “new” Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) was created to replace the scandal plagued JPAC.   Before quitting after less than a year on the job, the “new director” simply reassigned the previous JPAC Scientific Director to be in charge of “partnering with private groups”, which was announced as vitally important “to help reinvigorate a troubled POW-MIA accounting mission”.  There are many truly dedicated private groups who refuse to deal with DPAA because of the past arrogance and abuse by this same old group of poor leaders and managers who continue to remain in functional control of the “new” organization.  Disgraceful!
 
JPAC had many dedicated men and women in non-management roles who believed in the mission: researchers, military recovery specialists, and field investigators who hack through jungles, climb mountains, and wade rivers only to be sabotaged in their work by a completely dysfunctional command. Those few essential workers that remain at DPAA are dismayed, disillusioned, disheartened, and disgusted at what they experienced at JPAC and what they now see as a lack of action at DPAA in holding those responsible accountable for the abysmal failures of their leadership.  Disgraceful!
 
DPAA continues to leave unaddressed a long pattern of dysfunction, inefficient practices, wasteful and poor management, lack of leadership, pending complaints of sexual harassment by command personnel, EEO violations, criminal investigations, lawsuits, and complaints of managerial reprisal that were detailed in scathing official reports by the Inspector General’s Office and the Government Accountability Office. Even more complaints have been added since JPAC was disbanded.  Disgraceful!
 
The same group of serial offenders responsible for this ineptitude remain in the “new” DPAA. The same group that brought us multiple outrageous scandals including phony “arrival home” ceremonies and the fraud, waste and abuse of government funds that produces only five or six dozen identifications a year with an annual budget that exceeds $130 million. Disgraceful!
Perhaps the only improvement that the Department of Defense has implemented is the recognition that the JPAC/DPAA laboratory is considered by many to be inept and has refused to keep up with modern scientific identification techniques such as DNA.   The Defense Department has now removed the primary task of identifications from the DPAA lab and given it to the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory (AFDIL) in Dover, Delaware.   AFDIL now collects, runs, and controls a database of family reference samples for MIA’s lost in past conflicts and does the actual DNA testing.   Most of the comparatively few identifications made in 2016 are the result of DNA analysis by AFDIL and  not the massively expensive DPAA Laboratory. 
 
In 2016, DPAA produced a grand total of 142 identifications.  According to their own web site:
      A total of only 4 identifications were from the over 1,500 MIA’s who remain unaccounted for during the Viet Nam War.
     24 identifications were from remains discovered by a private group primarily at a parking lot site on Tarawa . 
      3 identifications were the result of a family filing a Federal lawsuit to force DPAA’s management to act after JPAC’s own investigation matched the missing serviceman’s identity with a precise burial location!
      2 each were identified from remains found in New Guinea, Germany, Italy, Netherlands and France and 1 identification each was from China, Malaysia, Vanuatu, India, and the Solomon Islands.  Together these total 14 identifications claimed as DPAA recoveries and some of these remains were discovered by private groups or other governments before being turned over to the U.S. Government.  
      60 Korean War identifications were mostly from remains turned over by North Korea in 1991 that had been sitting on the JPAC/DPAA Laboratory shelves for over 25 YEARS! 
      36 identifications were from the skulls of over 300 crew members of the USS Oklahoma who were buried with their bones comingled together in Hawaii and disinterred by DPAA over the objections of the US Navy.  It has been reported that in most cases the skulls were separated by DPAA Laboratory personnel used for the DNA samples sent to AFDIL. Most families found out about this dismemberment of their loved ones from reading the Washington Post newspaper. After AFDIL identified the individuals using DNA, DPAA gave the skulls to the families for burial.  The remainder of the bones of these lost sailors and Marines are currently stored in a DPAA facility in Nebraska while the Department of Defense tries to figure out what to do with the rest of the bodies of heroes whose skulls were prematurely buried with great pomp and circumstance to support DPAA public relation activities. 
  
Meanwhile the JPAC/DPAA management mantra of “Delay, Deny, and Wait for the Families to Die” continues.  DPAA continues to practice JPAC’s process known to those who worked inside the organization as “Slow Rolling” of families and researchers who ask for information by drawing the process out until forced to respond by political pressure or legal intervention in the hope that the requestors will simply give up and go away.  The current response time for basic information to families and researchers under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) is over ONE YEAR!  Federal law requires that information requested under FOIA be provided within 20 days, which DPAA routinely violates without consequences. 
  
Anyone with any management experience knows that the entire operation that was JPAC should have been deconstructed, brick by brick. Such needed massive reform simply did not happen. Just when families of our missing servicemen and women thought things could not get worse, it did.  The same infectious disease of JPAC arrogance and lies to the families of American heroes took root all over again at DPAA. This incredibly dysfunctional organization continues to operate in a “Business as Usual” mode.  The JPAC/DPAA disaster has been added to the infamous VA Hospital, Dover Mortuary, Arlington Cemetery, and the Viet Nam Unknown Misidentification debacles. 

CHRONOLOGICAL  LIST OF MEDIA STORIES RECORDING THE DEATH THROES OF JPAC AND THE CONTINUING MANAGERIAL DYSFUNCTION AT DPAA

AP IMPACT: MIA WORK ‘ACUTELY DYSFUNCTIONAL’  By Robert Burns Washington AP    July 7, 2013

PENTAGON TAKES “SECOND LOOK” AT EMBATTLED MIA UNIT  By Robert Burns  Washington AP July 9, 2013

PACOM COMMANDER SUPPORTS REVIEW OF JPAC by Karen Parrish American Forces Press Services  July 11, 2013

US GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILTY OFFICE: DOD’S POW/MIA MISSION, TOP LEVEL LEADERSHIP ATTENTION NEEDED TO RESOLVE LONGSTANDING CHALLENGES IN ACCOUNTING FOR MISSING PERSONS FROM PAST CONFLICTS July 17, 2013

SENATOR AYOTTE TO DEMPSEY: PENTAGON MUST ADDRESS POW/MIA FAILURES     July 18, 2013

PENTAGON AGENCY UNDER FIRE FOR REFUSING TO ID UNKNOWN WORLD WAR II SOLDIERS by Bill Dedman and Mike Taibbi, NBC News  August 1, 2013

C-SPAN: SENATE COMMITTEE REVIEWS DEFENSE DEPARTMENT’S MISSING PERSONNEL OFFICES  August 1, 2013

ALLEGED FRAUD AND WASTE IN MIA UNIT TO BE PROBED BY PENTAGON FOX NEWS, AP PRESS, AUGUST 1, 2013

LAWMAKERS ORDER POW/MIA OFFICE TO FIX PROBLEMS   By Bryant Jordon, Military.com August 1, 2013

NAVY CONCERNED ABOUT JPAC’S EXHUMATION PLANS FOR USS OKLAHOMA UNIDENTIFIED SAILORS Navy Times, Associated Press August 12, 2013

SEARCH FOR WORLD WAR II HEROES’ REMAINS HINGES ON MAN’S RESEARCH By Mark Emmons Daily Democrat, August 14, 2013

LOST AMERICAN HERO FINALLY COMES HOME TO INDIANA  By Rick Stone,  Indystar.com August 22, 2013

FAMILIES EXPRESS FRUSTRATION AT JPAC’S EFFORTS TO RECOVER WAR MISSING  By Matt Burke, Stars and Stripes,  September 23, 2013

PENTAGON UNIT HELD “PHONY” CEREMONIES FOR MIA’S, USING PLANES THAT CAN’T FLY  By Bill Dedman, NBC News,  October 10, 2013

JPAC ADMITS TO PHONY CEREMONIES HONORING “RETURNING” REMAINS  – Stars and Stripes, October 10, 2013

AMERICAN LEGION DEMANDS JPAC REFORMS: Fake arrival ceremonies are deceptive, not symbolic, says national commanderBusiness Wire, October 11, 2013

AMERICAN LEGION DEMANDS JPAC REFORMS OVER FAKE CEREMONIESBy Matthew M. Burke- Stars and Stripes October 15, 2013

70 YEARS ON, FAMILIES OF WWII DEAD HOPE FOR IDs – By Mitch Smith – Chicago Tribune, October 20, 2013

SENATOR DEMANDS ANSWERS FROM PENTAGON ON “PHONY’ MIA ARRIVAL CEREMONIESBy Bill Dedman, NBC News, October 28, 2013

McCASKILL DEMANDS EXPLANATION OVER STAGED ARRIVAL CEREMONIES FOR FALLEN SOLDIERS By Barnini Chakraborty Fox News, October 29, 2013

Chicago Family Fights to Get WWII Hero’s Remains Brought Home By Jeff Herndon, Fox 32 News, Chicago, November 12, 2013

McCASKILL WANTS REORGANIZATION OF POW-MIA GROUP, By Associated Press, Columbia Daily Tribune, November 16, 2013

PENTAGON LAB, SLOW TO ID HUMAN REMAINS, HAS TIME TO SHOOT BRADLEY COOPER MOVIE, By Bill Dedman, NBC News, November 19, 2013

EX-INVESTIGATOR, CRITICS SAY JPAC IGNORING CLUES, TECHNOLOGY THAT COULD BRING UNKNOWNS HOME – By Matthew M. Burke, Stars and Stripes, December 4, 2013

SENATORS URGE AGRESSIVE FIXES FOR POW/MIA OPERATIONS – By Matthew M. Burke, Stars and Stripes, January 17, 2014

INTERNAL MEMO ALLEGES JPAC ETHICS VIOLATIONS, MISHANDLING OF MILITARY REMAINS – By Matthew M. Burke, Stars and Stripes, January 28, 2014

SEN. AYOTTE:  NEED A “FULL INVESTIGATION” INTO MIA/POW AGENCY – By Todd Beamon, Newsmax, January 28, 2014

McCASKILL CALLS FOR ANOTHER JPAC OVERSIGHT REVIEW – By Matthew M. Burke, Stars and Stripes, February 12, 2014

PENTAGON AGENCY SLOW TO ID, RETURN REMAINS OF AMERICA’S FALLEN – By Chip Reid, CBS News, February 18, 2014

AFTER UNFLATTERING REPORTS, HAGEL ORDERS SHAKE-UP OF MIA ACCOUNTING AGENCIES – By Jon Harper, Stars and Stripes, February 21, 2014

JPAC MARINE FACES COURT MARTIAL FOR DEATH OF PROSTITUTE IN HAWAII – Stars and Stripes, February 21, 2014

FRENCH LAB IDENTIFIES US SOLDIER’S REMAINS AFTER JPAC REFUSES TO INVESTIGATE – By Matthew M. Burke, Stars and Stripes, February 24, 2014

NEW $82M JPAC HEADQUARTERS AND LAB BEING BUILT IN HAWAII  – By William Cole, Honolulu Star-Advertiser, March 4, 2014

SO MANY QUESTIONS:  BOTCHED RECOVERY MISSION DIDN’T FOLLOW JPAC’S OWN PROTOCOL – By Matthew M. Burke, Stars and Stripes, March 6, 2014

GRAVE SCIENCE: AMERICA’S EFFORT TO BRING HOME ITS WAR DEAD IS SLOW, INEFFICIENT AND STYMIED BY OUTDATED METHODS – By Kelly McEvers, National Public Radio (NPR), March 6, 2014

DATED METHODS MEAN SLOW RETURN FOR FALLEN SOLDIERS – OR NONE AT ALL – By Audie Cornish, KQED News, All Things Considered, and Kelly McEvers, National Public Radio (NPR), March 6, 2014

FAILING THE FALLEN: THE MILITARY IS LEAVING THE MISSING BEHIND – By Megan McCloskey, ProPublica Investigations , March 6, 2014

U.S. GRAVE SCIENCE MARKED BY RISK AVERSION AND BUREAUCRACY – By Melissa Block and Audie Cornish, KQED News, All Things Considered, and Kelly McEvers, National Public Radio (NPR), March 7, 2014

FAMILIES GATHER IN HOPES OF FINDING MISSING SERVICE MEMBERS – By Pam Kelley, Charlotte Observer , March 15, 2014

JPAC FACES LAWSUIT FOR FAILURE TO ID REMAINS OF AMERICAN SOLDIERS By Chip Reid, CBS News , March 31, 2014

HAGEL ORDER OVERHAUL OF POW/MIA IDENTIFICATION AGENCIES By Nick Simeone, American Forces Press, DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE , March 31, 2014

PENTAGON OVERHAULS EFFORT TO IDENTIFY ITS MISSING By Megan McCloskey, ProPublica Investigations and Kelly McEvers, National Public Radio (NPR), March 31, 2014

PENTAGON REORGANIZES EFFORT TO ID MIA’s AFTER NBC NEWS SERIES By Bill Dedman, Jim Miklaszewski and Courtney Kube, NBC NEWS, March 31, 2014

HAGEL ANNOUNCES RESTRUCTURING OF POW/MIA REMAINS OFFICES By Chris Carroll, Stars and Stripes, March 31, 2014

HAGEL ACTS TO IMPROVE POW/MIA ACCOUNTING EFFORT By Robert Burns, ABC News and Associated Press, March 31, 2014

AFTER 70 YEARS, FALLEN WWII SOLDIER WILL FINALLY COME HOME IN SPITE OF JPAC By Megan Towey, CBS News , April 7, 2014

BIG REVAMP OF PENTAGON’S TROUBLED MISSION TO FIND MISSING SOLDIERS LOOKS A LOT LIKE OLD REVAMP:  Without Change of Leadership Throughout, Meaningful Change Could Be Elusive, Critics Say  By Megan McCloskey, ProPublica Investigations, April 16, 2014

DOCUMENTS REVEAL SOUTHEAST ASIAN REMAINS BURIED WITH U.S. VET AT ARLINGTON – By Matthew M. Burke, Stars and Stripes, April 21, 2014

HAWAII BASED JOINT POW MIA ACCOUNTING COMMAND UNDER INVESTIGATION FOR PAPUA NEW GUINEA ROAD:  Cost and value of road trigger probe By William Cole, Honolulu Star-Advertiser, May 27, 2014

EXHUMATION OF REMAINS FROM CABANATUAN GRAVE 717 By Philippines Scouts Heritage Society, June 28, 2014

AFTER 7 DECADES, REMAINS OF WWII GI COULD SOON BE COMING HOME – By Megan Towey and Patricia Alulema, CBS News, July 1, 2014

PENTAGON FINALLY DECIDES TO DIG UP REMAINS OF LONG LOST SOLDIER – By Megan McCloskey, ProPublica Investigations, July 1, 2014

PENTAGON REPORT FINDS LITANY OF PROBLEM WITH EFFORT TO RECOVER MIA’S – By Megan McCloskey, ProPublica Investigations, July 14, 2014

SOME TROOPS KILLED IN WWII STILL HAVEN’T BEEN BROUGHT HOME By Chip Reid, CBS News , July 16, 2014

HAGEL ORDERS AGENCY CONDUCTING SEARCHES TO BE REORGANIZED By Torsten Ove, Pittsburgh-Post Gazette , September 7, 2014

HEAD OF FLAWED EFFORT TO ID MISSING SOLDIERS LOSES JOB – By Megan McCloskey, ProPublica Investigations , October 3, 2014

FAMILIES FRUSTRATED BY CHANGES TO POW/MIA SYSTEM By Megan Towey, CBS News , October 15, 2014

JPAC LEADERSHIP CHANGES CRITICIZED:  The ouster of its scientific director is among reforms at the federal agency By William Cole, Honolulu Star-Advertiser, October 19, 2014

LEADERSHIP DYSFUNCTION THREATENS NEW JPAC COMMAND, DoD IG FINDS – By Travis J. Tritten, Stars and Stripes, October 20, 2014

DPMO HEAD WINFIELD REPORTEDLY RESIGNS AS AGENCY REORGANIZES – By Matthew M. Burke, Stars and Stripes, October 28, 2014

U.S.  FAMILIES OF THE MISSING IN ACTION FIGHT TIME AND BUREAUCRACY – By Jeffrey B. Roth, Huffington Post, November 10, 2014

TURMOIL CONTINUES IN AGENCIES SEARCHING FOR AMERICA’S MIAs – By Richard Sisk, Military.com News, November 11, 2014

HAGEL PRODDED ON STATUS OF EXHUMED USS OKLAHOMA SAILORS – By Wyatt Olson, Stars and Stripes, November 14, 2014

JPAC COMMANDER LARRY GONZALES PREVIOUSLY RELIEVED OF LEADERSHIP DUTIES AFTER HE WAS INVESTIGATED FOR GROPING A SUBORDINATE AND CARRYING ON AN INAPPROPRIATE RELATIONSHIP By Matt Burke, Stars and Stripes, December 7, 2014

ACCURACY QUESTIONED IN JPAC IDENTIFICATION OF WW II REMAINS FROM PHILIPPINES – By Matthew M. Burke, Stars and Stripes, December 10, 2014

LEAKED EMAILS: CAMERON CROWE’S NEW BRADLEY COOPER MOVIE (USING JPAC RESOURCES) IS A CATASTROPHE By Jordan Sargent, Defamer.com, December 15, 2014 (See original NBC News Story above: PENTAGON LAB, SLOW TO ID HUMAN REMAINS, HAS TIME TO SHOOT BRADLEY COOPER MOVIE, By Bill Dedman, NBC News, November 19, 2013)

ANOTHER FAMILY JOINS LAWSUIT AGAINST JPAC FOR RECOVERY OF REMAINS FROM WW II  – By Matthew M. Burke, Stars and Stripes, December 22, 2014

TURMOIL SURROUNDS NEW JPAC AGENCY; JANUARY DEADLINE QUESTIONED  – By Matthew M. Burke, Stars and Stripes, December 24, 2014

REFORM EFFORT CUTS KEY JPAC EXPERTS:  Congress wants more identifications of war dead By William Cole, Honolulu Star-Advertiser, December 28, 2014

JPAC’S CRITICS SKEPTICAL THAT NEW POW/MIA AGENCY WILL SOLVE PROBLEMS  – By Matthew M. Burke, Stars and Stripes, January 15, 2015

THE SOURCE: IDENTIFYING OUR FALLEN SOLDIERS  – By Paul Flahive, Texas Public Radio, January 26, 2015

FAMILY’S LONG FIGHT WITH PENTAGON RETURNS NAME TO UNKNOWN SOLDIER  By Kelly McEvers, National Public Radio (NPR), January 27, 2015

PENTAGON FINALLY IDENTIFIES THE REMAINS OF A POW LOST SINCE 1942 By Megan McCloskey, ProPublica Investigations , January 27, 2015

REMAINS OF MIA KELDER IDENTIFIED, BUT FAMILY STILL HAS QUESTIONS  – By Matthew M. Burke, Stars and Stripes, January 30, 2015

HAWAII’S JPAC FOLDS By William Cole, Honolulu Star-Advertiser, January 31, 2015

THE PENTAGON’S FAILURE TO FIND LONG LOST SOLDIERS By Sara Afzal, Shore News Network, February 1, 2015

FOR LOVED ONES LOST AT WAR, IS DNA THE TICKET HOME? By Jeff Baillon, Fox News Network, February 5, 2015

CAN PENTAGON FIX SHAMEFUL TRACK RECORD OF FINDING AND IDENTIFYING REMAINS OF MISSING U.S. SOLDIERS IN FOREIGN LANDS?  By Noel Brinkerhoff AND Steve Straehley, AllGov, February 7, 2015

POW/MIA GROUPS ASK CONGRESS TO INVESTIGATE JPAC REORGANIZATION By Matthew M. Burke, Stars and Stripes, February 26, 2015

FAMILY GROUPS CUT FROM PENTAGON UPDATES By William Cole, Honolulu Star-Advertiser, March 16, 2015

MISSING IN ACTION: COULD DNA EVIDENCE BRING OUR WAR HEROES HOME By Jeff Baillon, Fox News, May 13, 2015

FAMILIES WAIT FOR LOST SOLDIERS TO BE IDENTIFIED Siouxland News/Fox News, May 23, 2015

OUTDATED METHODS WILL HAMPER EFFORTS TO IDENTIFY USS OKLAHOMA REMAINS, EXPERTS SAY By Matthew M. Burke, Stars and Stripes, July 2, 2015

DELAY, DENY, AND WAIT FOR THE FAMILIES TO DIE”:  HEAD OF POW-MIA OFFICE FAVORS CLOSER LINKS TO PRIVATE GROUPS – By Robert Burns, ABC News, July 6, 2015

FAMILY OF FALLEN SOLDIER BATTLED PENTAGON TO HAVE REMAINS RETURNED TO CHICAGO By Steve Miller, CBS News, July 9, 2015

REMAINS OF WW II PRIVATE WHO DIED IN JAPANESE POW CAMP IDENTIFIED, RETURNED By Siyao Long, Military Times, July 21, 2015

BRINGING HAROLD HOME: FAMILY’S 70 YEAR JOURNEY TO PUT WWII PILOT TO REST – Little Brother Has Lost Hope of Burying Pilot Beside Parents By Anita Wadhwani, The Tennessean, August 16, 2015

FAMILIES TURN TO MISSOURI SENATOR FOR ANSWERS ABOUT MISSING MEN FROM 1952 ALASKA MILITARY PLANE CRASH – Family members and loved ones of 52 military men killed in a November 1952 plane crash in Alaska are expressing frustration that remains recovered from that crash last year have not been identified By Mike Lear, MissouriNet, September 11, 2015

TAMPA WOMAN PUSHES MILITARY TO IDENTIFY REMAINS OF SERVICEMEN IN ALASKA CRASH By Keith Morelli, The Tampa Tribune, September 13, 2015

MORE DELAYS FOR FAMILIES AWAITING IDENTIFICATION OF REMAINS FOUND AT 1952 ALASKA MILITARY CRASH SITE By Sean Doogan, Alaska Dispatch News, September 18, 2015

IDENTITIES OF REMAINS FROM 1952 MILITARY PLANE CRASH KNOWN, UNRELEASED, SINCE MARCH By Mike Lear, MissouriNet, September 19, 2015

FAMILY BATTLES TO GET POW REMAINS 73 YEARS LATER By Jan Anderson, Great Falls Tribune, October 25, 2015

AFTER 74 YEARS, N.J. VETERAN WANTS BROTHER’S REMAINS BACK FROM PEARL HARBOR By Andy Polhamus, NJ.com, February 6, 2016

FAMILY GOES PUBLIC WITH FIGHT TO BRING HOME REMAINS OF MONNET MAN KILLED IN LAOS IN 1966 By Debby Woodin, The Joplin Globe, April 9, 2016

GOVERNMENT INACTION LEAVES 93 YEAR OLD WAR WIDOW DESPERATE FOR ANSWERS – By Jeff Baillon, Fox News, October 27, 2016  http://www.fox9.com/news/investigators/214070684-story

OMAHA POLICE DETECTIVE WORKS THE CASE OF HIS UNCLE’S WWII PLANE CRASHBy Steve Liewer, The Omaha World-Herald, January 16, 2017 http://www.omaha.com/news/metro/omaha-police-detective-works-the-case-of-his-uncle-s/article_e69d367d-4332-54f8-a7cb-3a793f6d5841.html

VETERAN GREEN BERETS PEEVED AT POW/MIA RECOVERY SLOW DOWN By John Stryker Meyer, SOFREP News, February 13, 2017

https://sofrep.com/74625/veteran-green-berets-peeved-at-powmia-recovery-slowdown/

WIDOW FEARS SHE WON’T LIVE TO SEE HUSBAND BURIED IN MINNESOTABy Jeff Baillon, Fox News, April 14, 2017 

http://www.fox9.com/news/investigators/248443905-story

FAMILY FIGHTS TO BRING MONET MAN MIA BACK HOMEBy Robert Jackson, Cedar County Republican, May 25, 2017 

http://cedarrepublican.com/news/family-fights-to-bring-monet-man-mia-back-home/article_dbcece44-3ff1-11e7-b2ec-839584189cf3.html

FAMILY SUING FOR DNA TESTING OF POSSIBLE REMAINS OF WWII MEDAL OF HONOR RECIPIENT – By Matt Burke, Stars and Stripes, May 26, 2017 

https://www.stripes.com/news/family-suing-for-dna-testing-of-possible-remains-of-wwii-medal-of-honor-recipient-1.470367#.WSiiO2eGOpr

NEW MEXICO WOMAN WANTS GREAT UNCLE’S REMAINS FROM WWII RETURNED HOME  – By Jeannie Nguyen, KRQE News 13, May 26, 2017

http://krqe.com/2017/05/26/new-mexico-woman-wants-great-uncles-remains-from-wwii-returned-home/

FAMILIES OF WORLD WAR II MIAs SUE TO IDENTIFY REMAINS, BRING THEM HOME – By Meg Jones, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, May 26, 2017

http://www.jsonline.com/story/news/local/2017/05/26/families-world-war-ii-mias-sue-identify-remains-bring-them-home/342885001/

MILITARY STILL FAILING FAMILIES OF MISSING SOLDIERS – By Bob Collins, MPR News, May 26, 2017

http://blogs.mprnews.org/newscut/2017/05/military-still-failing-families-of-missing-soldiers/

DPAA STILL PLAGUED BY PROBLEMS AFTER REORGANIZATION, REPORT SAYS  – By Matthew Burke, Stars and Stripes, May 28, 2017

https://www.stripes.com/news/dpaa-still-plagued-with-problems-after-reorganization-report-says-1.470784#.WSrJb2eGOpo

WAR HERO’S FAMILY SUING IN ITS DECADES LONG FIGHT TO IDENTIFY REMAINS  – By David Phillips, New York Times, May 29, 2017 (Click on photo to read complete article).

    “DPAA is a self-perpetuating, in-bred organization of dysfunctionally inept people       in management positions who have no idea how to do the job for which they are entrusted.”

THOUSANDS OF TEXAS MILITARY PERSONNEL STILL WAITING TO REST IN PEACE – By Craig Malisow, Houston Press, May 29, 2017

http://www.houstonpress.com/news/trying-to-account-for-lost-texas-soldiers-9473144

DoD’s DEFENSE PRISONER OF WAR/MISSING IN ACTION ACCOUNTING AGENCY (DPAA) STILL HAS NOT NAMED A DIRECTOR AFTER A YEAR – By John Stryker Meyer, SofRep News, June 2, 2017

DPAA Cartoon

https://sofrep.com/82354/dods-defense-prisoner-warmissing-action-accounting-agency-dpaa-still-not-named-director-11-months/

A 70- YEAR FIGHT TO BRING HOME A HERO HEATS UP WITH LAWSUIT – By Walt Buteau, WPRI News, July 6, 2017

http://wpri.com/2017/07/06/a-70-year-fight-to-bring-home-a-hero-heats-up-with-lawsuit/

OVER 70 YEARS AFTER GOING MISSING: “I don’t think it should take a U.S. Senator calling the defense department to be able to get this done.”  – By Todd Wilson, KSTP News, July 6, 2017

http://kstp.com/news/minnesota-serviceman-missing-identified-homecoming-widow/4535241/

FOR OVER 70 YEARS, WIDOW CATHERINE TAUER DID NOT KNOW WHAT BECAME OF HER HUSBANDBy William Bornhoft, Mendota Heights Patch, July 7 2017

https://patch.com/minnesota/mendotaheights/klobuchar-presents-mn-vets-widow-purple-heart-photos

MEDALS PRESENTED TO WIDOW OF LATE MN WORLD WAR II VETERAN: “The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) which is responsible for locating missing service members has been heavily criticized for operating at a sloth-like pace and keeping families in the dark.” – By KMSP, Fox 9 News, July 7, 2017

http://www.fox9.com/news/266170495-story

 

Copyright (C) 2012-2017 Chief Rick Stone & Family Charitable Foundation. All Rights Reserved

6 thoughts on “JPAC DPAA Command “Acutely Dysfunctional…Disgraceful”

  1. Dr. Tracy Baker

    Disgusting, nauseating! As a patriotic American, veteran and TAXPAYER, I am shocked at the story of the “Arrivals Ceremonies” JPAC has been conducting and the fraud involved there. What were they thinking? Did they think they would not get caught? Was there any shame in their hearts over the fraud perpetrated on the American public? In my years in the military, I saw many episodes of unethical, immoral and illegal behavior, but this is over the top. What in the *&%$ is going on in JPAC? The story I read had interviewed a veteran who said “whoever is responsible should be reassigned”. Reassigned? REASSIGNED? You’ve got to be kidding me! They deserve a Courts Martial and to be tossed in jail. In the interim, assign them to Shemya, Alaska, pending the Courts Martial.

  2. Name withheld upon request

    A current member of JPAC recently sent an email that was passed on to many former members of JPAC who had left the organization in frustration over poor management, lack of leadership, and the way that JPAC has treated families of missing American servicemen and women. Here is the email altered to protect the sender and the recipients from further retaliation by JPAC and to direct the criticism to where it is deserved:

    “(JPAC management’s) performance (exposed) on CBS News was utterly disgusting. Slow rolling family members until they die?? Really??
    I have met many lowlifes in my decades of service to our Nation, but none lower than (JPAC’s management). None!
    My hope is that karma will deliver (JPAC management) to the public exposed for what (they) really are.”

    (Name and title withheld)

  3. Laurence Smelser

    As the son of a missing airman from 1942, I suspected problems with JPAC after attending two of their rather patronizing regional meetings. It is easier dealing directly with the French. They now care.

    Larry Smelser, son of Major Harold C.Smelser, whose B-17 from the 91st BBG and crew were never recovered after being shot down on November 23,1942 off the coast of France.

  4. Belinda Herkins

    I was taken by surprise concerning those who are to find and locate POW/MIA and the misuse of funds. My brother was killed in the Vietnam War, and I wanted to share the information with the many military sites I’m on. Thank you.

  5. JG Westerfield

    Thank you for this post and collecting links to the reporting. I worked for an even earlier iteration of this mission in the late 1990s and was shocked by the waste and inefficiency even then. I just saw an article about the remains of an airman from Illinois being returned and thought I would look and see how the mission had evolved. Shameful. I was so proud and idealistic when I first got orders to do this work, and was quickly disillusioned. It’s hard to imagine it got worse, but it obviously did. I feel terrible for the families.

  6. Christie Malone

    We got word that my great uncle has been identified in a grave at
    Punchbowl. I just want to say thank you to Chief Stone and the foundation. My uncle will soon be buried in Independence Kansas. (I know Chief Stone was once an officer in Wichita) I have read a lot on Chief Stone and cannot thank him enough for his perseverance and push to get the government to do what was right and bring these men home.
    Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!
    Christie Malone

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