It is with a heavy heart that I received news of the passing of General John M. Shalikashvili. John was an extraordinary patriot who faithfully defended this country for four decades, rising to the very pinnacle of the military profession. He lived the American dream, arriving from Europe with his family as a teenager after World War II, and he dedicated his life to defending the country that had quickly adopted him and his family.
I worked closely with John back in the Clinton administration when he served as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and I was the White House Chief of Staff. I came to rely on his wise counsel, his wealth of military expertise, and his candor as we were challenged by foreign policy crises in Haiti, the Balkans, and elsewhere. I will remember John as always being a stalwart advocate for the brave men and women who don the uniform and stand guard over this nation.
During my many years of public service, I have had the privilege to serve alongside great leaders. John Shalikashvili was one of this country’s finest. My condolences go out to his wife Joan and his son Brant.