Wightman Takes Helm as Acting Assistant Secretary

DoD News, Defense Media Activity


WASHINGTON, July 11, 2014 — Richard O. Wightman Jr. has been designated as acting assistant secretary of defense for reserve affairs, filling the vacancy created by the appointment of Jessica L. Wright as the undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness.

Wightman had been the principal deputy assistant secretary for reserve affairs.

A retired Army major general, Wightman now serves as the key advisor to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel for all reserve-component matters, with specific responsibility for providing overall supervision of Defense Department policies relating to the manning, training, equipping, and resourcing of the almost 1.1 million service members assigned to the National Guard and reserves.

He grew up in an Army family and enlisted Airborne Infantry in July 1968. He was commissioned as a combat engineer in August 1969, and served for 41 years in all three components of the Army.

Before retiring in 2009, Wightman served in five two-star assignments, the last three in the joint community. His last posting, from 2006 to 2009, was as the commanding general and senior military representative at NATO Headquarters Sarajevo, Camp Butmir, Bosnia and Herzegovina, where he led defense reform and the transformation of the Bosnian Defense Ministry and the restructuring of the Bosnian armed forces into a modernized force, reduced the U.S. footprint in the region, and headed a combined task force of seven NATO countries assigned the mission of apprehending and transporting people indicted for war crimes to the Hague.

Wightman holds a master's degree in military arts and science and a bachelor’s degree from Framingham State College, and he is a resident graduate of the U.S. Army War College.