Togo D. West Jr., 75 , was on a Silversea Cruises Caribbean cruise when he had a heart attack and died on Thursday, March 8, 2018 while sailing between Barbados and Puerto Rico.
Mr. West served as an Army lawyer in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps and worked as the top lawyer in the Department of the Navy and Defense Department under President Jimmy Carter.
He was in the Army Field Artillery Corps from 1965–68 and the Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps from 1969-73. He practiced law at the firm of Covington & Burling before being appointed an Associate Deputy Attorney General in the administration of President Gerald Ford.
West was a government lawyer and high-ranking Clinton administration official who oversaw Army investigations into sexual harassment, served two rocky years as secretary of veterans affairs, and later directed investigations into the mistreatment of veterans at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and the roots of the 2009 mass shooting at Fort Hood.
From 2004-2006, he served as president of the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, a Washington-based think tank focused on issues of concern to minorities.
West became the second African American to serve as Army secretary when President Bill Clinton nominated him to the post in September 1993.
He also served as the President of the National Capital Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America.
Video: Togo D. West Jr., Clinton appointee who led Veterans Affairs and investigated Army abuses