Tags: chuck hagel | marine corps | commandant | defense

Rep. Walter Jones: Hagel Defense of Ex-Marine Corps Chief 'Hogwash'

By    |   Wednesday, 05 Nov 2014 08:37 PM

A senior member of the House Armed Services Committee says Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel's explanation of erroneous information on the official resume of former Marine Corps Commandant James Amos is "hogwash, " The Hill reported.

In a letter last month to Rep. Walter Jones, a North Carolina Republican whose district includes the Marines' storied Camp Lejeune base, Hagel attributed the mistake to "a data entry error in one of the Marine Corps’ personnel databases." Hagel said the misinformation was subsequently forwarded to another Marine Corps office which submitted it to members of Congress.

Amos claimed on his resume that he had graduated from The Basic School, a six-month program at the Quantico, Va. Marine base that includes a tough training regimen for young officers, in 1972. But The Washington Times reported that Lee Thweatt, a former Marine lawyer who investigated the claim, could find no evidence to support it.

Marine Corps public affairs officials responded Amos completed The Basic School in 1977 through written correspondence, an error Hagel explained by saying that a Marine Corps manpower office had prepared the resume, not Amos.

Mr. Jones called this defense "laughable," telling the newspaper that this should not absolve Amos of blame for the error. "I've filled out many, many resumes. You read it. You see anything wrong, you try to correct it, and [then] you sign it," Jones said.

At an Oct. 17 change-of-command ceremony ending Amos’ tenure as commandant, Hagel effusively praised Amos, declaring that he "made readiness and the health of the force his highest priority, ensuring that Marines meet their mission with the right tools at the right time and with the highest standards of integrity and discipline."

But in an Oct. 28 letter to Hagel, Jones expressed frustration with the Pentagon’s handling of allegations that Amos had not acted to correct false information on his resume.

"Respectfully, sir, I am in shock over the response and the lack of competence with which the Department of Defense and the USMC [have] handled this false information," Jones told Hagel.

The North Carolina lawmaker added that the Defense Department has yet to provide him proof that Gen. Amos graduated from The Basic School through a correspondence course.

"Why can no one present me with a copy of his completed certificate?" Jones wrote Hagel.

"Every other Marine I have asked has been able to provide me with a copy of theirs within 24 hours. Mr. Secretary, this whole situation has a foul odor."

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A senior member of the House Armed Services Committee says Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel's explanation of erroneous information on the official resume of former Marine Corps Commandant James Amos is "hogwash, " The Hill reported.
chuck hagel, marine corps, commandant, defense
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2014-37-05
Wednesday, 05 Nov 2014 08:37 PM
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