England Praises Eisenhower's Cold War Leadership
By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, April 7, 2006 Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England was honored for his contributions to national security at a defense association award dinner held in Vienna, Va., April 4.
Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England (left) received the 2006 Dwight D. Eisenhower Award citation from National Defense Industrial Association Chairman Tofie Owen at the organization's annual award dinner held in Vienna, Va., April 4. Photo courtesy NDIA
(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
England received the National Defense Industrial Association's prestigious Dwight D. Eisenhower Award, named for the famous Cold-War-era U.S. president, who had served as the supreme commander of the allied forces in Europe during World War II as a five-star Army general.
"What is most gratifying about this award is that it is named for a truly great American, President Dwight D. Eisenhower," England said in his after-dinner remarks.
The deputy defense secretary cited Eisenhower's lofty achievements as a military leader and strategist and as a chief executive who led America in the long struggle against global communism.
The keys to Eisenhower's successes were tied to his determination and personal integrity, England said.
"The supreme quality for leadership is integrity," he said. "Without it, no real success is possible, no matter whether it is on a football field, in an army, or in an office."
Elected to two terms as president (1952-1960), Eisenhower was chief executive "in the opening years of the Cold War ... when our nation faced a new and dangerous threat ... communism," England said. During Eisenhower's presidency Americans united to confront and defeat communism, he said. That struggle ended with the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and the 1991 dissolution of the Soviet Union.
"Winning the Cold War, a long war that lasted 40 years, took profound determination ... and the will and resolve of the American people," England said. "Eisenhower set the standard early on with the unflinching integrity of his leadership ... that forged America's shared sense of purpose."
Today, America is again a nation at war - this time against global terrorism, England said. And again integrity in leadership, he said, will be a deciding factor of victory.
He quoted President Bush's 2005 inaugural remarks: "In America's ideal of freedom, the public interest depends on private character - on integrity and tolerance toward others, and the rule of conscience in our own lives."
Bush congratulated England in a letter for receiving the Eisenhower Award and praised the deputy defense secretary's love of country and leadership.
"Gordon has exemplified patriotism and a strong commitment to liberty by answering our country's call to serve," Bush wrote. "Displaying leadership in private industry, homeland security, the Navy and the highest levels of government, Gordon has helped to protect America and the freedom that we love."
England "is a good man and continues to serve our nation with honor and distinction," the president noted.
It was humbling "to join the list of leaders who have received this award that bears Ike's name," England said at the dinner. Eisenhower had "lived a life of integrity that would have met even my mom's high standards," he said.
England thanked U.S. servicemembers for their efforts to protect the nation and saluted the attendees "for the integrity you bring to your work ... and for your will and commitment to do the right thing for America."
Other Eisenhower Award recipients include Sens. Sam Nunn, Barry Goldwater, John Tower and John Stennis. Vice President Richard B. Cheney also received the award when he was secretary of defense as well as the late Caspar W. Weinberger also.
The NDIA, according to the organization's Web site, "is a partnership between industry and government that is driving the future of defense and national security. NDIA facilitates growth, innovation, and technological advances for all facets of the defense industrial and related support base." NDIA's membership includes more than 1,100 corporations and 36,000 people.