Today the entire Department of Defense mourns the passing of the 12th Secretary of Defense, James Schlesinger. He was an exceptional and dedicated public servant who provided wise counsel to three different presidents as chairman of the United States Atomic Energy Commission, director of the Central Intelligence Agency, secretary of defense, and secretary of energy.
Secretary Schlesinger was a brilliant economist, and had a keen understanding of defense budgeting, our country's nuclear enterprise, and our most advanced weapons programs. I relied on his counsel when I was a United States senator and as secretary of defense have benefitted enormously from his experience, his guidance, and his strategic thinking as a member of the Defense Policy Board.
He was a valued friend and he will be missed greatly, but he leaves behind a remarkable legacy of accomplishment and service that will ensure his place in history alongside our country's great statesmen. Our thoughts and prayers are with Jim and his family.