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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 571-00
September 18, 2000

SECDEF STATEMENT ON ARMY INVESTIGATION REPORT

Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen today released the following statement:

"I fully support the efforts now underway to address questions of leadership, readiness, training and discipline within the 3rd Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, while on assignment in Kosovo. These efforts, initiated by Army Chief of Staff Gen. Eric Shinseki on Sept. 8, address issues raised by the Army Regulation 15-6 report. The incidents described in that report are a source of grave concern and reflect behavior that cannot be allowed to recur.

"Such incidents must not, however, be allowed to tarnish the reputation and accomplishments of the more than 10,000 American men and women in uniform who are serving this country with distinction under difficult circumstances in the Balkans. Those men and women deserve continued and full support from their fellow Americans."