The White House, President George W. Bush Click to print this document

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
June 8, 2007

Statement by the President

General Peter Pace has served our Nation with great distinction for forty years. He is an outstanding Marine -- and he made history as the first Marine to serve as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

As Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Pete's job has been to help ensure that America's military forces are prepared to meet the threats of this new century. This is a difficult task in a time of peace. Pete Pace has done it in a time of war -- and he has done it superbly. As part of our senior military leadership, Pete has helped oversee the liberation of more than 50 million people. I have relied on his unvarnished military judgment, and I value his candor, his integrity, and his friendship.

Pete's life is the story of the American Dream. He grew up in an immigrant family, graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy -- and went on to hold the highest position in our Armed Forces. He is a man of character who leads by example. I thank his wife, Lynne, who knows from long experience that military service is a family commitment. I also thank his son, Peter, and his daughter, Tiffany. America has been blessed by Pete's lifetime of service. And I wish all the best for the Pace family as this good man begins a new chapter in his life.

I am pleased to accept the recommendation of Secretary Gates that I nominate Admiral Michael Mullen to succeed General Pace. Admiral Mullen has performed ably as Chief of Naval Operations. He holds degrees from the U.S. Naval Academy, the Harvard Business School, and the Naval Postgraduate School. He has served ably in both the Atlantic and Pacific Fleets -- as well as in both Allied and Joint Commands. And when he is confirmed by the United States Senate, he will make a superb Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Admiral Edmund Giambastiani has been a strong and effective vice chairman. He is an officer of vision and determination, and he has served at a time of unprecedented danger for America. His time in the Joint Chiefs capped an exemplary military career. As Commander of the U.S. Joint Forces Command in Norfolk, he helped transform our Nation's military so it could better face the new threats of a new century. And he did the same for NATO while serving as its first Supreme Allied Commander, Transformation.

The Admiral is a highly decorated officer, but he is most proud of his unit awards and commendations -- because they represent team accomplishments. I thank his wife, Cindy ... his daughter, Cathie ... and his son, Pete, for the support they have provided. I salute Admiral G for his long career of distinguished service. He has earned the thanks of a grateful Nation.

I am also pleased to announce that I am accepting Secretary Gates' recommendation to nominate General James E. Cartwright as the new vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. General Cartwright is a Marine Corps pilot who serves as Commander, United States Strategic Command -- where he has done an outstanding job managing America's global strategic forces. In that role, he is responsible for the global command and control of U.S. Strategic Forces. He is an exceptional officer, and when he is confirmed by the Senate, he will be an outstanding Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

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