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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 298-97
June 09, 1997

STATEMENT BY GEN. JOSEPH W. RALSTON

Today I have asked Secretary of Defense Cohen to remove my name from consideration as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. This is solely my decision, and I make it with a sense of regret.

The regret is not for me personally because I never sought the office and have been, and continue to be, fully engaged in my current job as vice chairman. My regret is that the public discussion surrounding my potential nomination blurred the facts in a number of recent cases and gave the appearance of a double standard regarding military justice. I don't believe that there is a double standard, and I am hopeful that the panels recently announced by Secretary Cohen will be able to reaffirm public confidence in our military judicial procedures.

I would like to thank my family, Secretary Cohen, General Shalikashvili, my tireless staff and all of those within and outside the military who have supported me.