WASHINGTON, Aug. 5, 2011 — Navy Adm. James A. Winnefeld Jr. took the oath of office here yesterday to become the ninth vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Winnefeld succeeds Marine Corps Gen. James E. Cartwright, who is retiring in the coming weeks, as the military’s second highest-ranking officer. Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta administered the oath while Winnefeld placed his hand on a Bible held by his wife, Mary, during a Pentagon ceremony. The Senate confirmed Winnefeld’s nomination for the position Aug. 3, along with that of Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey to be the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs. “I am thrilled these two great Americans will soon join me in leading the finest military in the world,” Panetta said in a statement following their confirmation. Army Gen. Charles H. Jacoby Jr. succeeded Winnefeld as commander of U.S. Northern Command and North American Aerospace Defense Command. The military must be prepared to respond to a broad spectrum of potential future conflicts, Winnefeld said at his July 21 confirmation hearing. “If you look at what a conflict might be like in a place like [the Korean peninsula] as opposed to other places,” he said, “we’re going to need to be prepared for that full spectrum of operations.” Reorganizing troops and equipment for such an effort will be a big challenge, Winnefeld told the Senate Armed Services Committee, as will “making sure we don’t myopically focus on one type of conflict over another, but that we’re prepared as well as we can be for whatever comes across the plate.”
U.S. Department of Defense
Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs)