Defense secretaries come and go, but DoD's public servants stay to carry out the mission, William S. Cohen said during Pentagon Public Service Recognition Week ceremonies.
Cohen looked toward David O. "Doc" Cooke, the Pentagon's director of administration and management, while making this statement. Cohen said in the short time he's been in office as the nation's 20th defense secretary, he's come to understand Doc Cooke's success.
Cooke, DoD's senior civil servant, has been head administrator and manager of Washington Headquarters Service at the Pentagon for nearly 26 years. Cooke has been involved in defense management within the five-sided headquarters for almost 40 years.
His age, DoD officials say, is a mystery. His secret to success: "Doc Cooke makes it seem as if the secretary of defense is in charge," Cohen said, "but as you all know, the Doc is the rock."