Francis J. Harvey

Francis J. Harvey
19th United States Secretary of the Army
In office
November 19, 2004  March 9, 2007
President George W. Bush
Preceded by Thomas E. White
Succeeded by Pete Geren
Personal details
Born (1943-07-08) July 8, 1943
Latrobe, Pennsylvania
Political party Republican
Alma mater University of Notre Dame B.S.
University of Pennsylvania Ph.D.

Francis Joseph Harvey (born July 8, 1943) served as the 19th Secretary of the United States Army from November 19, 2004 to March 9, 2007.

Education and family

Harvey was born and raised in Latrobe, Pennsylvania. He earned his doctorate in Metallurgy and Materials Science from the University of Pennsylvania and his Bachelor of Science at the University of Notre Dame in Metallurgical Engineering and Materials Science. As of 2013, he and his wife of 48 years, Mary, have two children and five grandchildren.[1]


The majority of Harvey's career was spent with corporations that provided products and services to the federal government, particularly the United States Department of Defense, and included a year of government service. He was involved in over 20 major defense programs across the entire spectrum from undersea to outer space, including tanks, missiles, submarines, surface ships, aircraft and satellites. In addition, he was a member of the Army Science Board in the late 1990s, traveling to numerous U.S. Army installations, and participated in early studies that helped define the Future Combat System. Harvey also served for one year as a White House Fellow and assistant in the immediate office of the Secretary of Defense, Harold Brown, in the late 1970s.

Harvey held various professional, management and executive positions within the Westinghouse Corporation from 1969 to 1997, including President of the Electronics Systems Group, President of the Government and Environmental Services Company, and Chief Operating Officer of the multi billion dollar Industries and Technology Group. Before his appointment as Army Secretary, he was also a Director and Vice Chairman of Duratek a portfolio company of the Carlyle Group specializing in treating radioactive, hazardous, and other wastes, He was also Director and Vice Chairman of another Carlyle Group portfolio company, The IT Group, which provided environmental services to both commercial and military customers. In addition, he was a member of the boards of several other corporations.

Secretary of the Army

Secretary of the Army Dr. Francis J. Harvey (center), a former ASB member, awards the Decoration for Distinguished Civilian Service to departing ASB Chair Dr. James Tegnelia (left) as ASB Executive Secretary LTC Scott S. Haraburda (right) reads the citation, Feb. 24, 2005. (Photo courtesy of ASB Photo Archives.)

Harvey was nominated to be Secretary of the United States Army on September 15, 2004 by President George W. Bush.[2] In this position, Harvey served as the senior civilian official within the Department of the Army. He was responsible for all matters relating to Army manpower, personnel, reserve affairs, installations, environmental issues, weapons systems and equipment acquisition, communications, and financial management, as well as an annual budget of $98.5 billion and over one million soldiers, personnel, and contractors.[3]

Walter Reed Incident and Resignation

In the wake of the Walter Reed Army Medical Center neglect scandal, Harvey announced his resignation on March 2, 2007 after being asked to do so by Secretary of Defense Robert Gates,[4] with effect from March 9.[5] In his memoirs, Gates cited Harvey's appointment of Army Surgeon-General Kevin C. Kiley as temporary hospital commander. This appointment "was greeted with dismay by many wounded warriors and their families" because many of these problems arose during Kiley's previous command of the hospital. Gates also cited Harvey's "unconscionable" attempt to blame the problems on "some NCOs who weren't doing their job".[6]

Gates described Harvey as "a good man who had rendered distinguished service to the country. I fired him because once informed of the circumstances at Walter Reed, he did not take the problem serious enough".[6]

There is an alternative explanation of why Harvey was asked to resign as outlined in the book Leadership Lessons of the White House Fellows by Charles P. Garcia (McGraw Hill, 2009). In the preface of the book, it states that he was abruptly forced to resign allegedly for his handling of incidents at Walter Reed.


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Government offices
Preceded by
Les Brownlee
United States Secretary of the Army
November 19, 2004 March 9, 2007
Succeeded by
Pete Geren
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