Panetta Praises New Leaders Following Senate Confirmations

WASHINGTON, Aug. 3, 2011 — Defense Sec­re­tary Leon E. Panet­ta praised six offi­cers yes­ter­day after the Sen­ate con­firmed their nom­i­na­tions for key lead­er­ship posi­tions, includ­ing the military’s two top uni­formed posts.

I would like to con­grat­u­late Gen. Mar­tin Dempsey and Adm. James Win­nefeld, who the Sen­ate con­firmed … to serve as our next chair­man and vice chair­man of the Joint Chiefs of Staff,” Panet­ta said in a state­ment. “I am thrilled these two great Amer­i­cans will soon join me in lead­ing the finest mil­i­tary in the world.

They bring with them immense intel­lect, proven lead­er­ship and far reach­ing strate­gic vision,” he added, “and I know that both the pres­i­dent and I will great­ly ben­e­fit from their can­did advice and coun­sel as we con­front the many secu­ri­ty chal­lenges fac­ing our coun­try.”

Panet­ta also praised the out­go­ing chair­man, Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, and the out­go­ing vice chair­man, Marine Corps Gen. James E. Cartwright, call­ing them “two of the military’s finest lead­ers” and thank­ing them for their role in get­ting his tenure as defense sec­re­tary start­ed. Panet­ta took office July 1.

I have relied great­ly on their coun­sel and ben­e­fit­ed great­ly from their wis­dom dur­ing this peri­od of tran­si­tion,” he said, “and I look for­ward to pay­ing full trib­ute to each before they retire from mil­i­tary ser­vice.”

The sec­re­tary also hailed four oth­er senior offi­cers the Sen­ate con­firmed yes­ter­day for top posi­tions in the Defense Depart­ment: Gen. Ray­mond T. Odier­no as Army chief of staff, Adm. Jonathan W. Green­ert as chief of naval oper­a­tions, Air Force Gen. William M. Fras­er III as com­man­der of U.S. Trans­porta­tion Com­mand, and Army Lt. Gen. Charles H. Jaco­by Jr., who will receive his fourth star and serve as com­man­der of U.S. North­ern Com­mand.

I look for­ward to work­ing close­ly with all of these out­stand­ing lead­ers to ensure that America’s mil­i­tary remains the finest in the world and that our men and women in uni­form, and the fam­i­lies who sup­port them, get what they need as they work tire­less­ly to safe­guard our great nation,” he said.

U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs)