Washington, D.C. The Army on Saturday blamed a computer mix-up for recruitment letters mistakenly sent during the holidays to the families of 275 officers killed or wounded in action in Iraq.
"Every Army leader is just sick that this happened," said Gen. Richard Cody, the Army's vice chief of staff. "This is an inexcusable mistake. Five years into this war, the Army can do better than this - and we will."
Senior Army leaders were frustrated and disappointed by their blunder, Cody said. The Army used the wrong database, he said, when it generated a mass-mailing of letters between Christmas and New Year's Day to more than 5,100 Army officers who recently had left the service.
Included were letters to 75 officers killed in action - more than one-third of all Army officers who have died in Iraq since the war began - and 200 more wounded in action.
Cody said the Army immediately began contacting each family to offer a personal apology.
The reason for the embarrassment - an inadvertent switch with the mailing databases - has been corrected, Cody said.