Wolfowitz Is the 'Right Man,' Rumsfeld Says
By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, March 20, 2001 Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul D. Wolfowitz heard a booming cannonade and praise from his boss at a March 16 full honors welcoming ceremony at the Pentagon.
Sworn in March 2 as the 28th deputy defense secretary, Wolfowitz, 57, is the No. 2 civilian in DoD behind Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld.
Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld (right) Deputy Defense Secretary Paul D. Wolfowitz (left) and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Army Gen. Henry H. Shelton head for Wolfowitz's full honors welcoming ceremony March 16 at the Pentagon. Photo by Gerry J. Gilmore.
(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
Wolfowitz, like Rumsfeld, has extensive senior-level government experience, having served in both the Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations.
"Over the years I've worked with Paul on a number of occasions, including the Ballistic Missile Defense Commission, and I know him to be the right man in the right place at the right time," Rumsfeld said. "As (Chairman of the Joint Chiefs) Gen. (Henry H.) Shelton said, he has intellect and integrity that is surpassed only by his dedication to the men and women in uniform.
"The men and women in uniform do truly noble work, work that is different from the work of others, in that they voluntarily put their lives at risk. And I'm delighted that this very talented public servant, who understands that very well, is back again to serve our country."
Accompanied by Army Col. Thomas Jordan, commander of the 3rd U.S. Infantry (The Old Guard), Wolfowitz reviewed joint-service troops arrayed on the Pentagon's River Entrance Parade Field, followed by a series of cannon salutes.
After Shelton's and Rumsfeld's remarks, Wolfowitz spoke to the audience, which included former secretaries Caspar Weinberger and Frank Carlucci, and other distinguished guests.
"I was proud to be able to help provide support to American forces as they stood with our allies to defend peace and keep the Free World free," Wolfowitz said. "Today, the United States and its allies and its friends enjoy a level of peace and security that we've not known for a long time, and our forces remain the finest in the world.
"But we risk this peace and we would betray the sacrifices of our predecessors if we become complacent or indifferent to the strength that must be maintained as the foundation of that peace."
Wolfowitz said current threats to American security may seem "much smaller and farther away" than those of the past, but the nation's armed forces must remain on guard.
"Today, we reaffirm our pledge to ensure both our strength and our security, and we do so on behalf of the soldiers standing guard on the Korean Peninsula, the sailors standing on watch in the Pacific, the aircrews flying patrols over Iraq, and the Marines afloat and ready in the Mediterranean," he said.
Such a pledge, Wolfowitz added, involves "rededicating ourselves to our forces and their families who risk so much." Indicative of that risk, he pointed to the 32 service members who lost their lives in recent training accidents in Honolulu, Georgia and Kuwait.
"Our courageous forces and their families risk all on our behalf," he said. "We need to remember them and to support them every day with every fiber of our being."