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Army-WalterReed 02-23

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Walter Reed problems

Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Friday that those found to have been responsible for allowing substandard living conditions for soldier outpatients at Walter Reed Army Medical Center will be "held accountable."

However, no one in the Army chain of command has so far offered to resign.

Gates spoke to reporters after visiting the medical compound, whose reputation as a premier caregiver for soldiers wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan has taken a hit following a Washington Post series of reports last weekend that documented problems in soldiers’ housing and in the medical bureaucracy at Walter Reed.

"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. "With responsibility comes accountability." His comment suggested that senior officials in the Army chain of command would not be immune from disciplinary action.

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