Senator Wicker Statement on Newly Released Department of Defense 30-Day Review of SECDEF Command Breakdown

February 27, 2024

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, R-Miss., the highest-ranking Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, released the following statement after reviewing the Department of Defense’s 30-day review documents and attending the subsequent briefing made available to lawmakers regarding the command breakdown in the wake of the Secretary of Defense’s hospitalization:

“Secretary Austin told the American people last month that he did not believe he ‘handled this right.’ Regrettably, this report does not appear to hold the Secretary or anyone else accountable,” Senator Wicker said.

“The Department needlessly classified the report – a move made with the clear intent to circumvent public scrutiny and individual accountability. I remain concerned that the Department has yet to account for its failure to comply with federal law and notify Congress or the White House that the Secretary was incapacitated. This suggests a significant level of unpreparedness in the days prior to the Secretary’s emergency.”

“It is clear that many Members of the committee left the briefing frustrated by questions that went unanswered.”