"I am deeply honored that the President-Elect has asked me to continue as Secretary of Defense.
Mindful that we are engaged in two wars and face other serious challenges at home and around the world, and with a profound sense of personal responsibility to and for our men and women in uniform and their families, I must do my duty - as they do theirs. How could I do otherwise?
Serving in this position for nearly two years - and especially the opportunity to lead our brave and dedicated Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Defense Civilians - has been the most gratifying experience of my life. I am honored to continue to serve them and our country, and I will be honored to serve President-Elect Obama."