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Release No: 242-01
June 01, 2001


Dr. James G. Roche was sworn in as the 20th Secretary of the Air Force on June 1, 2001, during a ceremony at the Pentagon, Washington, D.C.

David O. Cooke, director of administration and management for the Office of the Secretary of Defense, administered the oath of office. Secretary Roche was nominated by President George W. Bush to be secretary of the Air Force on May 7, 2001, and confirmed by the Senate on May 24, 2001.

Secretary Roche is responsible for the functioning and efficiency of the Air Force, the formulation of the service's policies and programs, and the timely implementation of decisions and instructions of the president and the secretary of defense.

"I am honored to be confirmed as secretary of the Air Force, and to join one of the most innovative, dedicated, and respected teams the world has known," Roche said. "I appreciate the confidence and trust the president, the secretary of defense, and the Senate have in me to lead this proud aerospace team. I consider it an esteemed privilege to have this opportunity to serve with the Air Force's outstanding men and women."

"Over the past decade, our nation has demanded increasingly more effort and sacrifice from the Air Force team - our active duty airmen, civil servants, guardsmen, reservists, and contractors - and that team has responded brilliantly," Roche said. "The American people have the highest confidence in our military forces and are justifiably proud of the Air Force's numerous achievements and bright future."

"We must now respond to this century's new and emerging national security environment by fostering even more constructive relationships among the services to more fully integrate for joint and combined operations," he explained.

Roche, a retired Navy captain and recipient of the Arleigh Burke Fleet Trophy for the Navy's most improved combat unit in the Pacific in 1974, said he looks "forward to piloting the journey ahead for the Air Force. My vision is an aerospace future just as remarkable as its admired past. My pledge is that I will serve the way Air Force men and women do every day throughout the world - with integrity, selflessness, and in earnest pursuit of excellence."

"We welcome Secretary Roche and his family to the Air Force team," said Gen. Michael E. Ryan, Air Force chief of staff. "The secretary has had a distinguished and successful military and civilian career," Gen. Ryan said. "He brings a unique and valuable combination of military experience, executive management expertise, and proven leadership that will be an asset to our Air Force and our nation. I look forward to serving with him."

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