Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the military services' investigations of training-related deaths, focusing on whether the services: (1) identified and investigated all training-related deaths; (2) ensured adequate independence of investigations; and (3) had systems for ensuring that corrective actions are taken.
Recommendations for Executive Action
|Department of Defense||1. The Secretary of Defense should formally define what constitutes a training-related death and include in that definition deaths due to natural causes that occur during or shortly after a training activity.|
|Department of Defense||2. The Secretary of Defense should direct the services to amend their regulations to include the common definition for training-related death and require that all training-related deaths be investigated.|
|Department of Defense||3. The Secretary of Defense should direct the services to enforce the Department of Defense's requirement to conduct safety and legal investigations on all training-related deaths, both aviation and non-aviation.|
|Department of Defense||4. The Secretary of Defense should direct the services to ensure the independence of legal investigations by requiring that the: (1) convening authority come from a higher level than the unit that experienced the mishap; and (2) senior investigative member also be independent of that unit.|
|Department of Defense||5. The Secretary of Defense should direct the services to establish systems to track safety recommendations made in legal investigative reports to ensure that appropriate actions have been taken.|