Deputy Secretary of Defense
WASHINGTON, Oct. 5, 2011 – As I depart the Pentagon after thirty-two months in office, I want you to know that serving as our nation’s 30th Deputy Secretary of Defense has been the greatest privilege of my life.
I am grateful for the strong leadership provided by President Obama, by Secretary Bob Gates, and now by Secretary Leon Panetta. I also want to thank my colleagues at DOD. There is no better team for these times, no stronger set of leaders for the challenges we face, no more dedicated group of people to work with in support of our troops.
Each day in this job, I have stood in awe of the young men and women who strap on body armor and go out on patrol, not knowing whether they will return to base safe. Each day, I have been humbled by the quiet determination of our military families and especially our wounded warriors, who have sacrificed so much. Each day, I have admired the dedication of our civil servants, who, a decade after 9/11, return every morning to a building once subject to brutal attack.
As I walk down the Pentagon steps a final time, I am confident our Department is well positioned to weather the institution challenges our fiscal environment presents. I wish you well in the months and years ahead as you continue to protect and defend our great nation.