McLEAN, Va. — New leaders at Arlington National Cemetery have transformed the burial ground into a top-notch institution after officials uncovered mismanagement and misidentified graves two years ago, according to a Pentagon inspector general report released today.
The inspector general concludes that Arlington and another cemetery run by the Army, the Soldiers’ and Airmen’s Home National Cemetery in Washington, “have transformed ... into premiere institutions of excellence capable of setting the standards for federal cemeteries across the nation.”
The report in particular cites the implementation of geospatial technology to track cemetery operations — the first national cemetery to do so, according to the report. It also cites progress in an ongoing effort to verify the names and dates on all of the headstones and grave markers at Arlington.
More than 400,000 people are buried there, and as of Monday, 96 percent of those markers have been verified for accuracy. Another 8,400 gravesites still require verification, mostly in the oldest sections of the cemetery where the existing records — which in some cases date back 150 years — are sometimes incomplete and ambiguous.
Congress mandated inspector general audits in 2010 after reports of misplaced remains. Several reports in the past year or so have cited improvements under the cemetery’s new director, Kathryn Condon, but today’s report may be the most effusive in its praise.