United States Department of Defense United States Department of Defense

News Release

Press Operations Bookmark and Share

News Release


IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 691-96
December 23, 1996

STATEMENT BY SECRETARY OF DEFENSE WILLIAM J. PERRY ON THE RETIREMENT OF GEN. GEORGE A. JOULWAN, USA

STATEMENT BY

SECRETARY OF DEFENSE WILLIAM J. PERRY

ON THE RETIREMENT OF GEN. GEORGE A. JOULWAN, USA,

SUPREME ALLIED COMMANDER, EUROPE

I accept General George Joulwan's decision to retire next spring with great reluctance but with profound thanks for his outstanding service. He has commanded the United States European Command and served as the Supreme Allied Commander, Europe at the most critical time in their history. The United States and Europe are both more secure because of his leadership.

When the United States succeeded in bringing the warring factions in the former Yugoslavia to negotiations, General Joulwan led the Implementation Force that stopped the killing in Bosnia. The IFOR was a unique force: It was NATO's first operational deployment; it contained American and Russian troops serving shoulder to shoulder under a U.S. general, and it contained troops from 16 non-NATO nations.

General Joulwan's 36-year career spanned an era that began with U.S. forces guarding freedom's frontier on the plains of Europe and evolved to replacing the Iron Curtain with a wider security circle that includes NATO's 16 nations and 27 former foes who are now members of the Partnership for Peace. General Joulwan helped turn the Parternship for Peace program from an idea into a new security structure.

General Joulwan also helped NATO adapt to the challenges of a changed world which calls for peacekeeping and humanitarian missions both inside and outside of Europe.

General Joulwan commanded at every echelon in peace and in combat. He understood the needs of soldiers and their families, and worked tirelessly to make military service satisfying and productive. And he was a good friend. The Department of Defense and the nation will miss his dynamic leadership and his wise counsel.