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American Forces Press Service

Gates Swears in Cartwright as Vice Chairman

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Aug. 31, 2007 – Following a series of meetings at the Pentagon and the White House, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates swore in Marine Gen. James E. “Hoss” Cartwright as the eighth vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff today.

The ceremony – in front of family, friends and all members of the Joint Chiefs – was short, sweet and as informal as these ceremonies are likely to be in the Pentagon.

Cartwright has been serving as vice chairman since he was confirmed by the Senate on Aug. 3. The ceremony was delayed until his family could attend.

Marine Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, welcomed Cartwright to the job, and spoke with pleasure of his relationship with Cartwright over the past 10 years. Pace said that no matter what room Cartwright is in, “he’s the smartest guy in the room. He flat gets it. And he gets it in a way that not only ties things together, but articulates it in a way that guys like me can understand.”

Pace first worked with his fellow Marine at the Joint Staff in 1996. Cartwright then served as Pace's deputy at Marine Forces Atlantic in 2000. Cartwright also worked with Pace when he served as the Joint Staff’s director for force structure, resources and assessment when Pace was vice chairman.

“It is my great privilege to watch Hoss Cartwright take the oath of office as vice chairman,” Pace said. “He is a superb leader who is just what the country needs at this time.”

Gates noted that Cartwright is coming to the vice chairmanship from a very successful three-year stint as commander of U.S. Strategic Command. He said his experience has made him “exceptionally well qualified to lead the Joint Requirements Oversight Council in developing our military resource requirements,” a key duty for the vice chairman.

“He is an accomplished leader and strategic thinker, and he will lead a number of strategic groups in this building and our forces around the world in this most challenging time,” Gates said.

“I really do look forward to this opportunity,” Cartwright said after being sworn in. “The thing I remember most about my Joint Staff tours is the quality of the people that you work with, their focus and their willingness to go after the hard things.”

With Pace as chairman, Cartwright as vice chairman and Gen. James T. Conway as commandant of the Marine Corps, the Joint Chiefs of Staff now include three Marines for the first time.

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