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Defense Secretary Orders Review Into Military Day Care

Photo credit: U.S. Army

Children at the Child Development Center, blew out the candles on a birthday cake baked for the U.S. Army's 233rd birthday with Secretary of the Army Pete Geren.

Prompted by potential problems with security background checks for several employees at the Fort Myer Child Development Center in Virginia, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta has ordered a review of all 283 Defense Department child development centers.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, a defense department official told ABC News that two Army employees at the Fort Myer center were arrested in September after allegedly assaulting children. The official said at least 30 employees at that same center have backgrounds which "call into question their suitability to care for children."

Panetta said in a statement released by the Pentagon:

"Military children are precious members of our DoD family. As a department, protecting our service members and their families is paramount. That includes doing everything we can to provide for the safety of children attending CDCs throughout the department, and ensuring they are provided with the highest quality care by dedicated professionals. We owe nothing less to the members of our DoD family who have sacrificed so much for this department and this nation."

Fort Myer spokeswoman Mary Ann Hodges told ABC News the Fort Myer Child Development Center was closed on December 13, and the children moved to a different day care at Fort Myer.

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