The DoD will announce the name of a new director for the Defense Prisoner of War/Missing in Action Accounting Agency (DPAA) Tuesday after 16 months of inaction through two administrations and some in-house machinations, SOFREP has learned. Today, there are 1,603 Americans still listed as missing in Southeast Asia (SEA) from the Vietnam War, including Laos, Cambodia and N. Vietnam.


Reliable sources have told SOFREP that the candidate most likely to be named is retired Air Force Maj. Gen. Kelly K. McKeague, who was endorsed earlier this year for DPAA director by the Joint Special Operations Association/Special Forces Association POW/MIA Committee and the National League of POW/MIA Families. McKeague was the commander of Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC) based at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii from 2012 until DPAA was formed in 2015, and JPAC colors were cased in 2016. JPAC was one of three federal agencies merged into the DPAA.


In a February 27 letter to Mattis, the Joint Special Operations Association/Special Forces Association POW/MIA Committee endorsed McKeague because he served “with great distinction” as JPAC commander and “corrected many systemic problems he inherited and earned the respect and support of POW/MIA families and veteran service organizations.”


In that letter, the two Green Beret veteran organizations noted that McKeague had been endorsed by them and the League earlier in the selection process, and that McKeague “should have been selected and on duty long ago.” As a result, “The lack of a new director and the failure to take advantage of opportunities to increase the pace and scope of operations can only raise doubts among host nation partners about America’s commitment to the mission. The USG is sending absolutely the wrong message to counterparts in foreign governments.” The joint letter said its request to name a director was “urgent.”