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Immediate Release

Statement by Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III on the Passing of Former Senator Carl Levin

Today, we mourn the loss of Senator Carl Levin—a devoted public servant, a staunch supporter of our military, and one of Michigan’s finest statesmen.

Throughout his 44 years in public service, including his extraordinary tenure as Michigan’s longest-serving senator, his deep compassion and unyielding integrity left an indelible mark on every institution he served, including the Senate Armed Services Committee.

As chair of that committee, Senator Levin wielded his gavel with vigilance, fairness, and bipartisanship. He leaves a lasting legacy of rigorous oversight over defense programs and a deep commitment to cooperative threat reduction. His close partnership with his Republican counterpart, the late Senator John Warner, demonstrated to the whole country the degree to which he believed national security was not—and should not be—a political issue.

Throughout it all, his North Star remained the same: vigorous support for our national defense, accountability to the American people, and tireless advocacy on behalf of our men and women in uniform, as well as their families.

The nation and the world are safer and more secure thanks to the inspiring life and leadership of Carl Levin. On behalf of the men and women of the Department of Defense—the same people he championed for so long—Charlene and I send our deepest condolences to the Levin family.