Secretary of the Navy Richard Danzig has changed the status of Cmdr. Michael Scott Speicher from Killed in Action/Body Not Recovered (KIA/BNR) to Missing in Action (MIA). Speicher's F/A-18 aircraft was shot down by enemy fire in the first day of the air war over Iraq on Jan. 17, 1991. He was placed in an MIA status the next day. On May 22, 1991, following a Secretary of the Navy status review board that found "no credible evidence" to suggest he had survived the shootdown, his status was changed to KIA/BNR.
In December 1995, working through the International Committee of the Red Cross, investigators from the Navy and Army's Central Identification Laboratory entered Iraq and conducted a thorough excavation of the crash site. In September 1996, based on a comprehensive review of evidence accumulated since the initial KIA/BNR determination, the Secretary of the Navy reaffirmed the presumptive finding of death.
Over the years since that determination was made, the Navy and the U.S. government have consistently sought new information and continued to analyze all available information to resolve Speicher's fate. This additional information and analysis, when added to the information considered in 1996, underscored the need for a new review.
Based on the review, Danzig has concluded that Speicher's status should be "Missing in Action."