By Debbie Gregory.
Michael Linnington, the former head of the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) is leaving that position to take over as CEO of the Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) on July 18th.
Linnington’s decorated 35-year military career included key command positions in three combat tours and senior leadership roles in the Department of Defense
Linnington became the leader of the POW/MIA mission, a military agency that searches for and identifies the remains of missing servicemen, just last year. Prior to Linnington’s involvement, the military’s efforts to find and identify missing remains have suffered from numerous problems. But in the short span of a year, the agency’s laboratories have nearly doubled the identifications of missing servicemen.
The Wounded Warrior Project has been in the news because of the lavish spending of its leadership. For example, in 2014, the non-profit flew some 500 employees to Colorado Springs for an “all hands” meeting at the five-star Broadmoor hotel. Employees bragged about flying in business class and receiving other first class amenities. The spending began to attract attention. Charity Watch, an independent monitoring group, gave Wounded Warrior Project a “D” rating in 2011 and has not given it a grade higher than C since.
Linnington, who wasn’t looking for a new job, recognized the opportunity at the Wounded Warrior Project to do “incredibly noble work.”
“I’m very proud of the things we’ve done at the DPAA over the past year but I was approached by a group that needed some leadership in caring for our wounded warriors. I’m a 35-year soldier. I brought soldiers to combat and welcomed many of them home that were grievously wounded,” Linnington said.
As permanent CEO of WWP, Linnington will oversee the organization’s day-to-day operations and set the strategic vision to guide the organization forward, ensuring that WWP’s programs and services benefit wounded warriors, caretakers and families who rely on the organization’s life-changing services.