Yesterday Congressman Eric Massa attended a hearing held by the House Armed Services Committee on the Fort Hood shooting that occurred on November 5, 2009. Addressing the committee were the Honorable Togo West, former Secretary of the Army, and Admiral (Retired) Vern Clark, former Chief of Naval Operations. Mr. West and Admiral Clark co-chaired a Department of Defense independent review of the shooting and recently published their findings in an independent study.
The committee focused on DOD policies and procedures as they relate to the self-radicalization of members of the Armed Forces. Members particularly focused on the officer performance evaluations of the alleged gunman, Major Nadal Hassan, in what appeared to be a lack of candid assessments that may have identified his tendency toward radical Islamic beliefs and practices. Mr. West and Admiral Clark also emphasized the notion of "officership" in the hearing, referring to the "essence of being a member of the military profession, regardless of the officer's specialty."
"The internal security of our Armed Forces and its members against radical beliefs and practices continues to be a focus of this committee," said Rep. Massa, a 24-year veteran of the United States Navy. "We will ensure the lessons learned from this most tragic event are applied to future doctrine and policy within the Department of Defense to help prevent massacres like this from occurring in the future."
A copy of the independent report may be found at http://www.defense.gov/pubs/index.html.