Winnefeld Takes Over as Vice Chairman

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.

Defense Sec­re­tary Leon E. Panet­ta admin­is­ters the oath of office to Navy Adm. James A. Win­nefeld Jr., who became the ninth vice chair­man of the Joint Chiefs of Staff dur­ing a cer­e­mo­ny at the Pen­ta­gon, Aug. 4, 2011. Winnefeld’s wife, Mary, holds the Bible. Win­nefeld suc­ceed­ed Marine Corps Gen. James E. Cartwright, who is retir­ing after a four-decade mil­i­tary career.
DOD pho­to by R.D. Ward
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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) 

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