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Release No: 239-01
May 31, 2001


Thomas E. White became the 18th secretary of the Army today after being nominated by President George W. Bush on May 1, 2001, and confirmed by the Senate on May 24.

White expressed his gratitude to the president and the secretary of Defense for their confidence and trust in him. During his confirmation hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee on May 10, White identified four objectives he will pursue as secretary of the Army in support of the president and the secretary of Defense: to invest in people, to assure readiness, to transform the entire Army and to adopt sound business practices.

The secretary of the Army is the U.S. Army's senior civilian, responsible by statute for all matters relating to Army manpower, personnel, reserve affairs, installations, environmental issues, weapons systems and equipment acquisition, communications and financial management. The secretary leads a work force of some one million active duty, National Guard and Army Reserve soldiers and 225,000 civilian employees. The department has an annual budget of approximately 70 billion dollars.

Before his appointment as secretary of the Army, White was the vice chairman of Enron Energy Services, the Enron corporation subsidiary responsible for providing energy outsource solutions to commercial and industrial customers throughout the United States.

White began his service to the nation in 1967, after graduating from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. His distinguished career as a commissioned Army officer included two tours in Vietnam and service as commander, 1st Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment; commander, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, V Corps; and executive assistant to the chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff. He retired from the Army in 1990 with the rank of brigadier general.

For additional information, see the Army web site at http://www.army.mil or contact Army Public Affairs at (703) 697-7550.

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