The Department of Defense announced today that Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics (AT&L) Edward C. "Pete" Aldridge, Jr., will retire from government effective May 23, 2003. Principal Deputy Under Secretary (AT&L) Michael W. Wynne will serve as acting under secretary of defense (AT&L) effective that date.
The Secretary of Defense remarked: "Pete Aldridge is a leader who has brought vision and results to a critically important position. His record of accomplishment in nearly two decades of service in the Department of Defense will be felt for many years to come. I am grateful for his willingness to serve and help us defining priorities that are transforming this department. He will be missed and he will leave with our best wishes and full intention to turn to him frequently for counsel and advice."
Reflecting on his career, Aldridge said, "Every job I have had has been exciting, demanding, satisfying and worthwhile and has contributed in a variety of ways to our national security." He continued, "Now it is time, for personal reasons, to move on to a more relaxed period of my career. I will continue to support the national security interests of this country, albeit in a less direct way."
Aldridge was sworn in to his current position on May 11, 2001. His 42-year career includes 18 years of service in the Pentagon-first as an operations research analyst, as the director of Planning and Evaluation under Rumsfeld during his first tour as secretary of defense, as under secretary and then secretary of the air force under President Reagan and currently as the under secretary of defense (AT&L).
The other non-government periods of Aldridge's career have been spent in the defense industry, working on weapons and space systems vital to our warfighters. Immediately prior to his current position, he served as president of The Aerospace Corp., a non-profit organization dedicated to solving critical national problems through science and technology. Prior to that he served as president of McDonnell Douglas Electronic Systems.
Aldridge has received awards from numerous societies, including Rotary National Award for Space Achievement in 1994. He is affiliated with numerous associations and societies, including the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, where he served as president from 1997-98.
In the 1980's Aldridge was at one time an astronaut-in-training in preparation for his participation as a payload specialist on the first planned mission from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., which was canceled because of the Challenger accident.
Aldridge was born in Houston in 1938 and spent his youth in Shreveport, La. He earned his bachelor's degree in aeronautical engineering from Texas A&M University in 1960 and a master's degree in aeronautical engineering from Georgia Tech in 1962.
In his resignation letter to the president, Aldridge discussed the theme of "Acquisition Excellence" that he formulated during his nomination and confirmation, and the five goals he sought to accomplish during his tenure at the Department of Defense:
"First, I wanted to improve the credibility and effectiveness of the acquisition and logistics support process. Second, I wanted to improve the morale and quality of the acquisition workforce. Third, I wanted to improve the health of the defense industrial base. Fourth, I needed to support the decision process rationalizing our weapon systems and defense infrastructure with our new defense strategy. And fifth, I wanted to initiate those high-leverage technologies that would provide the war-winning capabilities of the future."
Aldridge summarized, "All in all I think we have made significant progress on accomplishing these five goals and setting in place the acquisition, technology and logistics support activities that you and Secretary Rumsfeld want to have for DoD."