Top Arlington National Cemetery leader out

John Metzler retires after Salon reveals bungled burials, missing remains and Army probes into those reports

Topics: Arlington National Cemetery Investigation,

Top Arlington National Cemetery leader outJohn Metzler, Jr. (R) and George W. Bush

Arlington National Cemetery Superintendent John Metzler Jr. has announced his retirement, after almost a full year of revelations about burial mistakes and contracting irregularities at the storied burial grounds. Metzler announced his retirement on Tuesday, effective July 2, in an email to cemetery employees. Metzler, 62, has been in the job for 19 years, since January 1991. His father, John Metzler Sr., served as Arlington Superintendent as well.

In the email, Metzler does not say why he is retiring, but notes the decision comes “after 42 years of federal service” in various government positions. He says he and his wife will move to Pittsburgh to spend time with his seven grandchildren. Metzler grew up in the on-site caretaker’s house he now occupies as superintendent.



The move comes after weeks of rumors that Army Secretary John McHugh had had enough of the problems at the cemetery on Metzler’s watch. Starting last summer, Salon uncovered systemic burial problems at Arlington with tragic results: unknown remains popping up in supposedly empty graves; service members mistakenly buried on top of one another; an urn fished out of the dirt landfill there; hundreds of missing headstones in one historic section; and a rash of contracting blunders and fiascos as cemetery management tried to clean up the mess.

The Army late last year launched a sweeping inspector general investigation into all of those issues as a result of the Salon reports. That investigation is ongoing.

 

Mark Benjamin is a national correspondent for Salon based in Washington, D.C. Read his other articles here.

More Related Stories

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 11
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails

    "Roman Candle" turns 20: Secrets of Elliott Smith's accidental masterpiece (slideshow)

    Elliott and the friends with whom he recorded in middle school in Texas (photo courtesy of Dan Pickering)

    "Roman Candle" turns 20: Secrets of Elliott Smith's accidental masterpiece (slideshow)

    Heatmiser publicity shot (L-R: Tony Lash, Brandt Peterson, Neil Gust, Elliott Smith) (photo courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)

    "Roman Candle" turns 20: Secrets of Elliott Smith's accidental masterpiece (slideshow)

    Elliott and JJ Gonson (photo courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)

    "Roman Candle" turns 20: Secrets of Elliott Smith's accidental masterpiece (slideshow)

    "Stray" 7-inch, Cavity Search Records (photo courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)

    "Roman Candle" turns 20: Secrets of Elliott Smith's accidental masterpiece (slideshow)

    Elliott's Hampshire College ID photo, 1987

    "Roman Candle" turns 20: Secrets of Elliott Smith's accidental masterpiece (slideshow)

    Elliott with "Le Domino," the guitar he used on "Roman Candle" (courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)

    "Roman Candle" turns 20: Secrets of Elliott Smith's accidental masterpiece (slideshow)

    Full "Roman Candle" record cover (courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)

    "Roman Candle" turns 20: Secrets of Elliott Smith's accidental masterpiece (slideshow)

    Elliott goofing off in Portland (courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)

    "Roman Candle" turns 20: Secrets of Elliott Smith's accidental masterpiece (slideshow)

    Heatmiser (L-R: Elliott Smith, Neil Gust, Tony Lash, Brandt Peterson)(courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)

    "Roman Candle" turns 20: Secrets of Elliott Smith's accidental masterpiece (slideshow)

    The Greenhouse Sleeve -- Cassette sleeve from Murder of Crows release, 1988, with first appearance of Condor Avenue (photo courtesy of Glynnis Fawkes)

  • Recent Slide Shows

Comments

0 Comments

Comment Preview

Your name will appear as username ( settings | log out )

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href=""> <b> <em> <strong> <i> <blockquote>