Navy r sum doesn't quite hold water

Navy r sum doesn't quite hold water

There are 108 comments on the Chicago Tribune story from Oct 1, 2008, titled Navy r sum doesn't quite hold water. In it, Chicago Tribune reports that:

When Vice Adm. Donald Arthur retired as Navy surgeon general, Adm. Mike Mullen - now chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff - paid tribute to a "Renaissance man." "His resume says a lot," Mullen said.

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Navy Veteran

Damascus, MD

#2 Oct 2, 2008
I am deeply saddened by this example of malfeasance. Whatever happened to the concept of duty, honor country? For those of you still on active duty I pray for you every night and day so that you may come home safely to loved ones who also patiently wait your return. God bless you and thank you for your service!
Proud of Serving With Him

Rockville, MD

#3 Oct 2, 2008
This article isn't factual. Although the " PhD came from a university whose accreditation the federal government doesn't recognize. And the JD, or law degree, was granted by a diploma mill that collapsed after its president was imprisoned for fraud" does not mean Vice Admiral Arthur did not receive a quality education or complete course work required to obtain the degree. There are a variety of reasons why an agency is unrecognized, some agencies may be working towards recognition with the Secretary or CHEA and others may not meet the criteria for recognition. Accreditation of degree-granting institutions in the United States is a voluntary process. Diploma mills frequently use names similar to those used by accredited schools, which often allows the diploma mills to be mistaken for accredited schools. For example, Hamilton University of Evanston, Wyoming, which is not accredited by an accrediting body recognized by ED, has a name similar to Hamilton College, a fully accredited school in Clinton, New York. There are no uniform verification practices throughout the government whereby agencies can obtain information and conduct effective queries on schools and their accreditation status.
A recent study conducted by a recognized agency identified 463 students employed by the federal government who received degrees from unaccredited organizations. Two of the four schools provided records that federal agencies paid them $150,387.80 for the fees of federal employee students. Many service members have obtained such degrees and their resume is not under the microscope. I doubt very seriously the Board selected Vice Admiral Arthur for promotion soley on the fact that documentation within his service record listed the degrees in question. He was as an commissioned officer based on his medical degree and credntials he holds as a physician.
The federal government hasn't taken a stand on this issue and doesn't requires one to hold a degree from an accredited school AND hasn't established policies and procedures to ensure employees and service members do not list degrees obtained from unaccredited institutions. Until they do leave these folks alone-they attended the school, completed the required course work and paid the fees associated with the degree-why shouldn't they be allowed to display the degree on their wall or list it on their resume?
Art Hatten

Freeport, FL

#4 Oct 2, 2008
This appears to happen too often in the U. S. Navy.
As an aggressive Vice Admiral in the U.S. Navy, this man should have known that his record contained questionable credentials.
Hopefully I'm wrong, but I read "fraud".
Navy medicine

Norfolk, VA

#5 Oct 3, 2008
Don Arthur would have summarily fired subordinates who were guilty of similar inattention to detail and/or less-than-truthful embellishments in official records. His well-deserved reputation was one of doing whatever was necessary to achieve the next rank. The accomplishments noted in his original bio (all the degrees, his training in emergency medicine, etc) represented boxes to be checked to facilitate his climb up the ladder. I am certain there are more than a few officers whose careers he has derailed that are enjoying a bit of perverse pleasure out of his current predicament. This story is just the tip of a very large and ugly iceberg.
Crimes and Misdemeanors

Damascus, MD

#6 Oct 3, 2008
Infidelity. Dereliction of Duty. Conduct unbecoming of an officer. These are just a few allegations that have been circulating for years. But there is honor amongst thieves after all which might explain why nothing has been done about it. Just look at the current mess in the financial services industry? The so called "Master's of the Universe" have lead us all to the brink. Doesn't take a PhD to figure that out. Maybe that is what is wrong with this country, no accountability. Highly educated psychotic narcissists all.
H Butler

Wellton, AZ

#7 Oct 4, 2008
The iceberg is there. In 2000 I was ordered not to testify on behalf of Dr. Eric Gluck at a peer-review hearing in Groton, and brought the matter to the attention of then-Captain Arthur in December, 2000. My testimony to the DOD IG in this matter was given under oath on 10 June 2005 in the presence of Ralph M. Bard M.D., J.D., Commander USNR (former nuclear officer). Subsequent attempts to bring this case of intentional administrative abuse to light in order to right the wrongs (wrong rank, mail fraud, whistleblower reprisal regarding navy patient safety at Groton under Captain John Burkhart and at Backus Hospital (Norwich), nepotism, defrauding the government by moonlighting on duty time, etc.) were thwarted. In my opinion this is a modern Dreyfus Case, not so much because of anti-Semitism but because Dr. Gluck gave the World's Finest Navy full value, making no attempt to cut corners for personal gain. Admiral Arthur is now working at Main Line Health in Bryn Mawr,'Ponsylvania.' Did he lie to the Senate when presenting his credentials for promotion to ever-higher rank, is lying legal, or is he a credit to us all?
Why did he drop two of his degrees from his official bio (for the accuracy of which he is responsible) as he rose in rank? Why, indeed? I will be happy to testify under oath in these matters. H.E. Butler III M.D. CDR, USNR (Ret.)[email protected]
Anonymous

Norfolk, VA

#8 Oct 6, 2008
He has always managed to stay one step ahead of any charges of disobedience, mismanagement, professional misconduct, or inappropriate personal behavior. Also flag officers are assumed to behave with honor and are given extremely wide latitude in the exercise of their judgement and power. The Navy CNO tried to have him removed several years ago but was allegedly told to back off by an even more senior government official.
Navy Medicine Vet

Laurel, MD

#9 Oct 6, 2008
CDR Roger Edwards (MSC, USN (Ret)) and 'The Donald' have more in common than anyone every imagined! Both spuriously presented themselves for personal gain at the expense of countless others, both were incurable lotharios and both suffered from incurable hubris.

Arhtur should be recalled and held accountable!
Monterey CA

Monterey, CA

#10 Oct 6, 2008
Proud of Serving With Him wrote:
This article isn't factual. Although the " PhD came from a university whose accreditation the federal government doesn't recognize. And the JD, or law degree, was granted by a diploma mill that collapsed after its president was imprisoned for fraud" does not mean Vice Admiral Arthur did not receive a quality education or complete course work required to obtain the degree. There are a variety of reasons why an agency is unrecognized, some agencies may be working towards recognition with the Secretary or CHEA and others may not meet the criteria for recognition. Accreditation of degree-granting institutions in the United States is a voluntary process. Diploma mills frequently use names similar to those used by accredited schools, which often allows the diploma mills to be mistaken for accredited schools. For example, Hamilton University of Evanston, Wyoming, which is not accredited by an accrediting body recognized by ED, has a name similar to Hamilton College, a fully accredited school in Clinton, New York. There are no uniform verification practices throughout the government whereby agencies can obtain information and conduct effective queries on schools and their accreditation status.
A recent study conducted by a recognized agency identified 463 students employed by the federal government who received degrees from unaccredited organizations. Two of the four schools provided records that federal agencies paid them $150,387.80 for the fees of federal employee students. Many service members have obtained such degrees and their resume is not under the microscope. I doubt very seriously the Board selected Vice Admiral Arthur for promotion soley on the fact that documentation within his service record listed the degrees in question. He was as an commissioned officer based on his medical degree and credntials he holds as a physician.
The federal government hasn't taken a stand on this issue and doesn't requires one to hold a degree from an accredited school AND hasn't established policies and procedures to ensure employees and service members do not list degrees obtained from unaccredited institutions. Until they do leave these folks alone-they attended the school, completed the required course work and paid the fees associated with the degree-why shouldn't they be allowed to display the degree on their wall or list it on their resume?
#3 your comment is a bit out of touch. When medical officers (i,e NC, MSC, MC) are recruited into the navy, they must posses an accredited degree therefore, if they are going to have a degree added to their official record, it should be accredited.
Saying that his MD alone got him promoted is absurd. Did the promotion board idecide to just ignore the other two degrees? Yes, his MD alone would have gotten him promoted to a certain level, but those other degrees helped. At some point, we need to stop making excuses and covering up dishonesty as if such behavior cannot come from a senior ranking officer. The problem I have is that if this was an enlisted sailor s/he would have been out of a job by now.
No one disputes that individuals don't work hard for these degrees, but the bottom line is that non-accredited degrees should not be part of one's official record since these degrees will be taken into consideration at promotion boards. If any old degree will do, then it also be acceptable for a commission into the navy. God help us if it comes to that.
Glad_ I_am_ Retired

Norfolk, VA

#11 Oct 7, 2008
I wonder if the officers that this "gentleman" submarined while he was a Navy Flag Officer have a cause of action here? Well...of course they don't but maybe they all have some sense of justice now!
Leadership by Example

Washington, DC

#12 Oct 7, 2008
And so goes the Navy. Metaphorical icebergs are a hazard to navigation. It sounds like that Navy brass and certain "senior government officials" have left a LOT of bad Karma in their wake.
Abandon ship while there is still hope!
anonymous

Lakeville, CT

#13 Oct 8, 2008
As a retired air force officer I am offended that Vice Adm. Arthur had to lie and cheat to be promoted. He is a disgrace to the Navy and his country! He should appologize to the men and women in the military who had to follow the rules and regulations in order to be promoted.
Another Navy Medicine Vet

Front Royal, VA

#14 Oct 9, 2008
Who is the idiot that wrote this? Wait! Most of Navy Medicine can guess!(It really was pretty obvious CAPT/Ms. "Pround of Serving With Him!") Can it actually appear logical to the writer to refer to the "institution" that granted the "JD" as a "diploma mill" with a president that was "imprisoned for fraud" (what do you think he was imprisoned for fraud for????)and say that The Donald "did not receive a quality education or complete course work required to obtain the degree?" Please, he paid his $5,000 or so (some people actually know how much these cost, you know) and got mailed a bogus degree, which he then used to pad his service record to appear better qualified than his honorable, ethical and hard-working peers. And, as far as "the Federal Government has not taken a stand on this issue," I guess this comment demonstrates that Nurse Corps Officers aren't really required to stay up to date on Federal legal statutes, so please allow me to inform: There's this little-bitty thing we call the "Uniformed Code of Military Justice" (UCMJ) that sets down RULES that military people have to follow, and I'm no lawyer, but I have been to Military Justice School. Doesn't take a JAG officer to figure out that Dr. Don could be charged with Articles 83/84 (Fraudulant/Unlawful Enlistment, Appointment or Separation); Article 107 (Making Falso Official Statements); Article 132 (Frauds Against the United States); and Article 133 (Conduct Unbecoming An Officer). Come on, let's put a stop to this charade. For the honor of the Navy Medical Department and the men and women of Navy Medicine that go in harm's way and spill blood on the battlefields this very day, Arthur needs to be called to the bar of justice. There is more here, there's gun-decked ribbons and medals, un-earned warfare devices, questionable conduct under fire and really bad leadership. He needs to be made accountable.
Former Navy Investigator

Oxon Hill, MD

#15 Oct 9, 2008
Reading this article and the comments is painful. It’s difficult to sit back when you know there are facts which shout for exposure and you should be silent. But I won’t. I am now retired from my position as a DOD civilian. Part of my job was to assist with gathering and analyzing personnel record information during investigations about matters like the one described here.

We took our time to assemble all pieces of a record and put them into context. We interviewed witnesses and reviewed applicable regulations and law. It seems easy to take this article’s facts as the full truth, leap to conclusions and add other elements to the fire in a blog which requires no validity check. Investigators take their time and reach conclusions based on ALL the facts, not just those conveniently presented to move the reader toward one conclusion when fully informed reality may be something quite different.

The reason I feel someone must speak up is that it took many months to investigate this officer’s record and when all the facts were known to us and his record microscopically scrutinized there were no offenses committed. We looked at his military records, his degrees, and his personal life. Over months, we assembled and confirmed every aspect.

True, the degrees did not have an accreditation DOD accepted but the PhD was from a school with an alternate accreditation. This was at the inception of internet schools and the law degree was from one of the schools which did not meet standards.

The Admiral asked the Navy if the schools could be put in his record and the Navy included them. Many years ago, he asked that they be removed and they were. However paper is never actually removed from a record so a trail of history always remains. The important thing in this case is that these degrees were never part of the personnel record (called the Officer Summary Record) which was ever presented before a promotion board. So none of his promotions were ever influenced by them. These degrees are not on his record.

Further, they were not part of the material that was sent to the Senate during his confirmation.

Other conjectures of misconduct in his career are fantasy written by people who may not have liked all the decisions he made. These so called allegations were heard by investigators, investigated thoroughly, and found to be entirely without merit. That’s a fancy way of saying they were fabrications.

He was found to have sought educational programs which did not meet Navy standards but the intent was not malicious. The trouble was that once these degrees were known, they had a life of their own regardless of whether he removed them or not. Another fact is that this was nearly 20 years ago and his performance as an officer spoke loudly to promotion boards, not the degrees.

So I’d just advise caution in jumping to conclusions on so little data. The toxic email from his antagonists reflects more on their desperately infantile approach to life than to this officer’s conduct.
Crimes and Misdemeanors

Damascus, MD

#16 Oct 9, 2008
I guess the "prosecution" and the "defense" both have had their say in this matter. The jury is still out it seems. Still hard for me to understand how so much negativity is associated with this former naval officer. That speaks volumes in my book. But then again I have not been too impressed with the state of our country lately and I find that even more disturbing. God help us all.
Senate Documents

Chicago, IL

#17 Oct 10, 2008
Senate Documents

Chicago, IL

#18 Oct 10, 2008
P.S. See pages 6 and 11 (.pdf numbers).
Leadership by Example

Washington, DC

#19 Oct 10, 2008
Looks like the "Former Navy Investigator" was misinformed or even perhaps engaging in purposeful disinformation? Good catch on the Senate documentation.
Still Active Duty

Chevy Chase, MD

#20 Oct 11, 2008
You might wring your hands and say that this article is full of half-truths, but the fact is that this is a man who uses any means at his disposal for advancement - whether it be lies, truths, or half-truths, and that alone is conduct unbecoming an officer. Never mind that he touted himself as a graduate of an emergency medicine residency, but it doesn't appear that he has ever completed a residency in emergency medicine - there is no record that I am aware of, and no one has been able to say so as of yet -- anyone out there with actual proof????
ericdtgroschatgm aildtcom

Gainesville, FL

#21 Oct 11, 2008
My e-mail address has illegal symbols in it, so I've translated them into alphabet-only symbols which you may readily translate.
Anyone who has any facts on VAdm Arthur may feel free to e-mail what he has to me.
In the modern age, every avenue is constipated with privilege, confidentiality, immunity, court-sealings, etc., even when such secrecy is unnecessary. The result is that little to nothing conducted, in your name and mine, that the taxes, plundered from your pocket and mine, is public information, yet it should be.
It is emblematic that the "former Navy investigator" comes forward only anonymously and only after retirement, only after his fat retirement package is committed, rather than when he was in active service and his coming forward may have been done some good by clearing a few things up, under the sunshine. Did he "investigate" the issue that Cdr Butler, above, cited or did he have no "need to know" anything about that, on a pretext of "national security," the most abused doublet in the English language?
The same goes for the many retired generals, including the notorious Ricardo Sanchez, the beneficiaries of even fatter tax-based retirement-packages, who have criticized the illegal invasion of Iraq only after their retirements.
One wonders why they and their successors didn't do their proper duties to honor their oaths of office to preserve, protect and defend the United States Constitution from all enemies, foreign and domestic, including that unelected popinjay, George W. Bush, tell him to go to Hell, refuse to participate in that illegal invasion, lay down their arms, order their subordinates to do the same and put a stop to it when they were in active service and their refusal to cow-two to that dictator of this banana-republic may have done some good? The answer, of course, is that they would have received "dishonorable" discharges and lost their super-fat tax-based retirement packages for doing the honorable thing.

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