DOD Formally Welcomes Deputy Defense Secretary Work
By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, June 9, 2014 The Defense Department formally welcomed Bob Work as the deputy secretary of defense today as the Pentagon’s new “chief operating officer” took his ceremonial oath of office.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel welcomed Work, a retired Marine colonel who served as Navy undersecretary, saying there is no better partner to help him during such a time of change.
Work is returning to the Pentagon after a stint at the Center for a New American Security, a non-profit research group. “I really want to say how thrilled I am to be back at the Department of Defense,” he said during the ceremony. “Over the arc of my life and career, I’ve watched the American military go through a remarkable transformation.”
When he was a second lieutenant, Work said, the Vietnam drawdown was in full swing and the “hollow military” was a fact. “Over time,” he added, “we transformed the volunteer force into something really to be proud of and reckoned with throughout the world.”
The U.S. military today is battle-hardened and experienced, and “superbly capable and superbly led,” he said. “And like Secretary Hagel,” he added, “I am determined to do my part to make sure the American military remains the finest fighting force the world has ever seen.”
The deputy defense secretary works closely with the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Navy Adm. James A. “Sandy” Winnefeld said he is delighted that Work is in the job.
“Bob has the unique ability to get things done, especially when it comes to making a difference for our men and women in combat,” the admiral said during the ceremony.
He praised the deputy’s collegial style, saying it already is making a difference. “He’s done it all – strategy, budget, acquisitions, technology, innovation – Bob is the right man, in the right job, at the right time, as our military transitions from 12-plus years of war to a defense force rebalanced to a broader spectrum of deterrence and conflict,” Winnefeld said.
Hagel said his new deputy and he “are tied together on every issue for every moment” in their tenure at the Defense Department.
The secretary said these are complicated times, and everyone in DOD has a role to play. He expressed his confidence in the team of Work and Winnefeld. “Their leadership, their expertise, their credibility and their trust is tremendously important at this time for this enterprise and our country,” Hagel said.
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