The Decision Makers: Defense Department

The Defense Department coordinates and supervises all agencies and functions of the government related to military affairs. The department trains and maintains armed forces; procures weapons; supports overseas deployments; provides disaster relief; performs humanitarian missions; conducts peacekeeping operations; and supports homeland security.

Donald Rumsfeld

Rumsfeld has become one of the most consequential -- and most controversial -- Defense secretaries in modern American history. Consequential, because Rumsfeld, 72, is a wartime secretary who is actually on the verge of accomplishing what he set out to do: fundamentally transforming a Cold War-model U.S. military into a more agile, rapidly deployable, and technologically adept force for the 21st century. Controversial, because his brusque style and sharp elbows have alienated many senior military leaders as well as U.S. allies. Rumsfeld's trademark determination to constantly push the envelope is reflected in the Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo prison scandals, and in a U.S. military that is showing increasing signs of buckling under the constant pressure of wars and transformative change.

Rumsfeld's career directly refutes the notion that there are no second acts in American lives. After graduating from Princeton University on a ROTC scholarship, Rumsfeld served a tour in the active-duty Navy as an aviator. He then represented Illinois in Congress at the tender age of 30. Following three successful re-elections, Rumsfeld served in the Nixon and Ford administrations in various senior posts, including White House chief of staff and ambassador to NATO. In 1975, he became the youngest Defense secretary in history, before exiting to private business to become a successful executive. Following speculation that he would retire early in Bush's second term, Rumsfeld has suggested more recently that he might serve another full term. That would make him not only the youngest and oldest Defense secretary in history, but also one of the longest-serving.

Gen. Peter Pace
Chairman (designate), Joint Chiefs of Staff

A signature of Rumsfeld's management style has been the careful vetting and promotion of officers to ensure that the senior uniformed leadership shares his vision of a fundamentally transformed U.S. military that is quicker-reacting and more expeditionary. It was thus no surprise that Rumsfeld, in choosing the top uniformed officer in the land, looked to someone who not only fit that description, but was also a known entity. Pace's promotion from vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to chairman will have added historical significance: He'll be the first marine ever to hold the top job. The Office of the Secretary of Defense clearly hopes that the expeditionary ethos of the Marine Corps -- America's "force-in-waiting" -- will rub off on all of the other armed services. Certainly Pace, 59, has the pedigree to serve as the chairman in a time of war. The son of an Italian immigrant, Pace was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., and grew up in nearby New Jersey. Shortly after graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy, he served as a rifle platoon commander in Vietnam, and he took part in the battle to retake the city of Hue from the North Vietnamese during the Tet offensive, some of the war's bloodiest fighting. To this day, under the glass on his desk at the Pentagon is a picture of Lance Cpl. Guido Farinaro, the first marine Pace lost in combat in Vietnam. Pace went on to serve as the second-ranking commander of the Somalia task force in 1993, and as head of U.S. Southern Command in 2000. In addition to his military education, Pace has a master's degree in business administration from George Washington University.

Adm. Edmund P. Giambastiani Jr.
Vice Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff

Of Giambastiani, the Lexington Institute's Loren Thompson says, "He sort of reminds me of the submarines he has commanded -- running silent and running deep." Giambastiani, 57, currently serves as NATO's supreme allied commander for "transformation," meaning that he's in charge of bringing allied forces up to date. He serves in a similar role as commander of U.S. Joint Forces Command, which oversees the modernization and integration of the four U.S. armed services. Before arriving at Joint Forces Command in late 2002, Giambastiani was Rumsfeld's senior military assistant. A native of Canastota, N.Y., he graduated from the Naval Academy with leadership distinction in 1970. He has a "strong background in terms of military budgets, programs, and requirements," says Andrew Krepinevich, who sits on a Joint Forces advisory group. One of Giambastiani's roles as vice chairman is to head the Pentagon's powerful Joint Requirements Oversight Council, which decides which new weapons programs will go forward. Giambastiani, explains one former Defense official, has a "very joint mind-set," adding, "It'll be interesting to see how he pushes that body."

Gordon R. England
Deputy Secretary (designate)

In 2001, Rumsfeld installed three experienced corporate executives as service secretaries, touting them as his main managers. Since then, Army Secretary Thomas White has been ousted for taking the generals' side against Rumsfeld, and Air Force Secretary James Roche has retired, but England has endured and ascended. Even as Navy secretary, England took on Defense-wide priorities well beyond the usual service secretary portfolio, including the contentious overhaul of the department's civil service system. Now awaiting formal Senate confirmation to his new post, this lifelong manager succeeds foreign-policy strategist Paul Wolfowitz as Rumsfeld's No. 2. Said one former Defense official, "There's huge anticipation that finally, the deputy secretary will be someone who's focused inward, as the go-to guy for internal management issues." And England is certainly less controversial on the Hill than are other, more-ideological Rumsfeld lieutenants. "Gordon England has the greatest credibility up here of anybody over there," said one Democratic staffer. "He's got a track record that inspires trust." England, 67, is a Baltimore native with degrees from the University of Maryland and Texas Christian University. He worked at General Dynamics before entering government.

Kenneth J. Krieg
Undersecretary for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics

Since arriving at the Pentagon in July 2001, Krieg has earned a good reputation in the national security business. He won significant support on the Hill for his role during the scandal over the lease of tanker aircraft from Boeing. He was working as director of the Pentagon's program analysis and evaluation office, which provides an internal check on the department's spending projects, and he was commended by Hill staffers for providing a skeptical review of the now-defunct leasing project. The reward for his diligence was a promotion to his new job, where he will oversee purchases of everything from nuclear submarines to socks. Before joining the Pentagon, Krieg, 44, worked for 11 years at International Paper, a multinational producer and distributor, where he rose to head the company's retail, office, and consumer division. He grew up in Logan, Ohio, and received his bachelor's degree in history from Davidson College, and his master's in public policy from Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government.

Tina Jonas
Undersecretary (Comptroller)


Dov Zakheim, the former Pentagon comptroller who first brought Jonas to the Defense Department in 2001, recalls that Rep. Jerry Lewis, R-Calif., "was constantly teasing me that if I let go of [Jonas], he'd hire her back." Jonas had spent the previous decade working on defense budget issues as a professional staff member for the House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee and as a senior budget examiner for the Office of Management and Budget. She left Defense in 2002 to become chief financial officer for the FBI, where she helped to overhaul the agency's budgeting and financial management processes. She returned to the Pentagon last summer to oversee Defense's $400 billion annual budget when Zakheim retired. Jonas, who declined to give her age or home state, earned a bachelor's degree from Arizona State University in political science in 1982 and a master's degree in liberal studies with a concentration in international affairs from Georgetown University in 1995. She got her start in Congress as a legislative aide for Rep. Bill McCollum, R-Fla.

Stephen A. Cambone
Undersecretary for Intelligence

Cambone is the first-ever undersecretary for intelligence at the Pentagon, and his post's very existence is controversial. Many believe that Cambone is part of Rumsfeld's strategy to wrest control of intelligence from other agencies, and that there will be inherent tension between the department and the director of national intelligence. Cambone counters that his role is simply to "ensure that the reforms directed by the DNI are done in a coordinated fashion." He feels his position was created because "9/11 solidified the need within the Department of Defense to elevate the attention given to defense intelligence." A 52-year-old Bronx, N.Y., native, Cambone graduated from Catholic University and has a master's and Ph.D. from Claremont Graduate University. Defense expert Loren Thompson sums him up this way: "Cambone is the most important person in the Rumsfeld Pentagon in terms of getting things done. He's very hard-charging, he works very hard, he has a vision, and he has the complete confidence of the secretary of Defense. Now, given all those positive qualities, it isn't surprising so many people hate him."

Eric Edelman
Undersecretary for Policy
(703) 697-7200

In succeeding Douglas Feith, who became something of a lightning rod for critics of the Iraq war, Edelman will almost certainly maintain the close ties between the Pentagon's influential policy shop and the vice president's office that were established during Bush's first term. After all, from February 2001 to June 2003, Edelman served as Dick Cheney's national security adviser, and he worked under then-Secretary Cheney at the Pentagon in the early 1990s. Most recently, Edelman was the U.S. ambassador to Turkey, where he stirred controversies of his own with sometimes-pointed criticisms of the Turkish government. A career Foreign Service officer, Edelman first worked in the Reagan administration, where he learned the ropes as a special assistant to Secretary of State George Schultz. In addition to Ankara, his overseas postings have included stints as the head of the external political section at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow (1987 to '89); deputy chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy in Prague, Czech Republic (1994 to '96); and ambassador to the Republic of Finland (1998 to 2001). In the early 1990s, he served as assistant deputy undersecretary of Defense for Soviet and East European affairs. Edelman received his undergraduate degree in history and government from Cornell University, and a doctorate in U.S. diplomatic history from Yale University.

David S.C. Chu
Undersecretary for Personnel and Readiness

In a city of glad-handers, Chu reminds a lot of people of their most intimidating college professor. He seems OK with that. "It's not a popularity contest," he said. "This is a results-oriented post." That attitude rankles legislators and activists who see military benefits -- pay, health care, retirement -- in moral terms; but Chu argues that Congress's pet personnel add-ons -- many aimed at military retirees -- are inefficient tools for recruiting and retaining current troops. Chu is overseeing massive changes in the Pentagon's civil service system and the restructuring of the Reserves. And he works to strengthen schools, child care, spouse employment services, and other "family support" for military dependents. "They're actually doing more than the Office of the Secretary of Defense usually does" in this area, said Joyce Raezer of the National Military Family Association, "and we've applauded all that." Chu, 61, served as an Army logistics officer in Vietnam. He led the Pentagon's Program Analysis and Evaluation Office throughout President Reagan's buildup and the elder Bush's drawdown, then went to the Rand think tank. A native of Mount Vernon, N.Y., he holds a bachelor's degree and a doctorate from Yale University.

Charles S. Abell
Principal Deputy Undersecretary for Personnel and Readiness

Abell is the kinder, gentler face of Pentagon personnel planners: An eight-year veteran of the House Armed Services Committee staff, he helped to craft many of the increased military benefits that his current boss, David Chu, considers too costly. "Some, I thought, were overreaching at the time," Abell said. "It is possible to make people too expensive." Although Abell is not Chu's point man with Congress, he extensively advises his new colleagues on how to deal with his old colleagues. His top agenda items lately are the sweeping and controversial overhaul of the department's civil service system -- final regulations are now being thrashed out with unions and other parties -- and the effort to improve support services for military families. He also peruses management tomes to help him master the vast Pentagon bureaucracy: "I particularly enjoy [former General Electric CEO] Jack Welch," Abell said. "He's especially into performance-based management -- which is, of course, where I'm trying to take the department." Abell, 58, served 26 years in the Army. A native of North Carolina, he graduated from the University of Tampa.

Bradley M. Berkson
Deputy Undersecretary for Logistics and Materiel Readiness; Director for Program Analysis and Evaluation

Donald Rumsfeld has favored hard-charging corporate types for key positions, and Bradley Berkson is an exemplary case. A Harvard M.B.A. who became one of McKinsey & Co.'s whiz-kid consultants -- and did a stint advising the U.S. Marine Corps -- Berkson went on to found a company using tiny radio-frequency identification tags (RFID) to track items through corporate supply chains, an innovation the military has embraced. Rumsfeld brought Berkson on board in 2003 to advise the secretary's elite management team, the Senior Executive Council, and made him acting head of logistics in January 2004. Earlier this year, Berkson also took on the job of director of program analysis and evaluation -- a key position whose previous occupants under Rumsfeld, Steve Cambone and Ken Krieg, have both ascended to undersecretary positions. Berkson, 42, is a native of Albuquerque, N.M. He holds an undergraduate degree in engineering from the University of Tulsa, and he's a licensed aviator who volunteers as a pilot for mercy medical missions.

Christopher (Ryan) Henry
Principal Deputy Undersecretary for Policy

Henry, 55, has emerged as the Pentagon's point man during the ongoing review of military strategy and spending, known as the Quadrennial Defense Review. He served as a top deputy to the Pentagon's controversial former policy chief, Douglas Feith. Henry, a Naval Academy graduate who retired as a Navy captain after more than two decades in uniform, has emphasized repeatedly in speeches and press interviews the importance of the review. "We can't see many competitors that are coming at us in the traditional domain. In the business world, this is the equivalent of coming up with a new product in a new market," he has said. An aviator who was the Navy Test Pilot of the Year in 1983, Henry has become a respected military strategist. Before coming to the Pentagon's policy shop in 2001, he was a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. Most recently, he was vice president for strategic assessment and development at Science Applications International Corp. The California native holds four master's degrees and is pursuing a doctorate in public policy.

Thomas Hall
Assistant Secretary for Reserve Affairs

Among the most controversial aspects of the war on terror is the fact that Reserve units have been used with great frequency. But Hall points out something rarely mentioned: "Since 9/11, we have utilized about 40 percent of our Guard and Reserve. We have not utilized 60 percent," he says. "What is frequently talked about is people that are mobilized two, three, and four times. The actual figures are only a total of about 7 percent that have been utilized more than once." Hall says that the military has needed certain skill sets, such as those of military police.

But officials are now examining the remaining 60 percent of reservists to determine who can be retrained for use in today's wars. And that's just one crucial aspect of Hall's job. He is a 34-year active-duty Navy veteran and former anti-submarine warfare pilot. His final assignment was as commander of the Naval Reserves, a posting that led to his current position. Hall, a 65-year-old native Oklahoman, has a bachelor's degree from the Naval Academy and a master's in management from George Washington University.

Thomas W. O'Connell
Assistant Secretary for Special Operations and Low-Intensity Conflict

O'Connell's military career started in the infantry, but it has culminated in a Defense post responsible for overseeing an $8 billion budget as well as policy for special operations, counter-terrorism, humanitarian assistance, and the counter-narcotics office. O'Connell -- described by a colleague as "tough, experienced, and unassuming" -- spent 28 years in uniform before retiring as a colonel. Those three decades brought him experience in military intelligence and took him to 33 countries, including Vietnam, where he earned a Bronze Star for valor and a Purple Heart. O'Connell, 58, grew up in Rhode Island and received his bachelor's degree in economics from the University of Rhode Island. He went on to earn two master's degrees -- one in management from Central Michigan University, and a second in international relations from the Naval War College. O'Connell worked as a senior manager for Raytheon and was a task force member of the President's National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee. His other awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, and the Air Medal.

Paul McHale
Assistant Secretary for Homeland Defense

Over the past 30 years, McHale has seen the Defense Department from all sides: as a Marine infantry officer, as a member of the House Armed Services Committee, and now as the first assistant secretary of Defense for homeland security. McHale, 54, graduated from Lehigh University in his hometown of Bethlehem, Pa., and spent two years in the Marine Corps before attending Georgetown Law School. In 1982, he was elected to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. He resigned in 1991 to return to active duty with the Marines for the Persian Gulf War. McHale was then elected to the U.S. House of Representatives two years later. In the House, McHale, a moderate Democrat, served on the Armed Services Committee and co-founded the National Guard and Reserve Components Caucus. Since February 2003, he's been the point person for all of Defense's homeland-security activities.

In that position, McHale oversees the new Northern Command, which is responsible for defense in the continental United States, and he handles liaison work with civil authorities for homeland security.

Daniel Stanley
Assistant Secretary for Legislative Affairs

Stanley, who was confirmed in late June, is the department's top lobbyist on Capitol Hill. He's worked in various senior positions in the Pentagon's legislative affairs offices for the past two years and currently is acting assistant secretary of Defense for legislative affairs. A defense-industry insider praised Stanley for "being very understated and not someone who would showboat. You have to be liked on the Hill, and Dan is liked." Stanley, a onetime Navy enlistee, was a nuclear submarine officer before retiring as a Naval Reserve commander in 1997. The fifth-generation Kansan got his start in politics as an administrative assistant to Sen. Bob Dole, R-Kan., and later became the Senate majority leader's top defense adviser on topics ranging from base closings to Operation Desert Storm. Stanley, 53, has also served as secretary of administration for the state of Kansas and on the federal Postal Rate Commission. He holds a bachelor's degree in nuclear technology from the State University of New York (Albany).

Peter Rodman
Assistant Secretary for International Security Affairs

Rodman considers himself a generalist in foreign affairs, a policy realm where many practitioners define themselves in terms of a specific regional expertise. "I have most of the regions of the world in my jurisdiction," said Rodman, whose office acts as the foreign-policy arm of the Pentagon. "I have Colombia and North Korea and everything in between." Rodman, a Boston native, said he developed his wide-ranging policy expertise during his years working with Henry Kissinger. "I got into everything he was doing," said Rodman, who studied under professor Kissinger at Harvard during the 1960s. Rodman earned a bachelor's and a law degree from Harvard. He also holds a bachelor's and a master's from Oxford. In 1969, National Security Adviser Kissinger hired Rodman as a staffer on the National Security Council. Rodman, 61, later held ranking posts in the State Department and the NSC under Presidents Reagan and Bush I before joining the sitting administration in 2001.

William Winkenwerder Jr.
Assistant Secretary for Health Affairs

Even as Rumsfeld attempts to transform the military into a more efficient 21st-century fighting machine, Winkenwerder endeavors to modernize the vast military health system. Before his October 2001 appointment, Winkenwerder spent more than a decade as a health care executive with Emory University, Prudential Health Care, and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts. He now oversees the implementation of all health policies, programs, and activities of the department, which include conducting research, and providing health insurance and health care to more than 9.1 million military beneficiaries. Winkenwerder, 51, says one of his greatest challenges has been balancing the different needs of active-duty personnel, their families and dependents, and military retirees. A North Carolina native and graduate of Davidson College, Winkenwerder earned his M.D. at the University of North Carolina and his M.B.A. at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School. One of his current priorities is to upgrade the military's electronic health record system, the largest of its type in the world, which he says is already a model for proposed private-sector telemedicine systems.

Linton Wells
Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Networks and Information Integration; Chief Information Officer

Wells, 58, is trying to upgrade the military's central nervous system with modern communications gear and software. His initiatives must allow war fighters to see farther, think better, and act faster, without imposing computer-generated blinders, errors, or delays onto the battlefield. It is an effort that has gone on for 30 years but has produced enormous payoffs in modern warfare. Wells was a 26-year Navy officer, whose final command in 1991 was a destroyer squadron. He worked as an assistant to former Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz in the first term of President Bush. In the Clinton years, Wells oversaw the Pentagon's command, control, communications, and intelligence programs. His office was reorganized after Bush's first election, but Wells remained in charge. Wells's parents were foreign correspondents who met in Josef Stalin's Moscow. He was born in Portuguese-occupied Angola, and later had to decline a draft notice from the Portuguese military. He earned his engineering degree and a Ph.D. in international relations from Johns Hopkins University.

Lawrence DiRita
Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs

DiRita, 47, replaced high-profile Pentagon spokeswoman Victoria Clark in 2003. A Naval Academy graduate who served in uniform on the Joint Staff under Gen. Colin Powell in 1994, he has been a trusted behind-the-scenes operator for Rumsfeld -- and an occasional squash opponent for his boss. Before taking over the podium in the Pentagon press room, DiRita was in Baghdad to help with the initial postwar reconstruction efforts as a special assistant to Rumsfeld. The Detroit native earned his political stripes working on the 1996 presidential campaign of Sen. Phil Gramm, R-Texas. DiRita also worked for another Texas Republican, Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, from 1996 to 2001, as her legislative director and later chief of staff. After leaving the Navy, DiRita, who holds a master's degree from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, served as the Heritage Foundation's deputy director of foreign policy and defense studies.

Andrew W. Marshall
Director of Net Assessment

Administrations come and go. Marshall remains. Since founding the Office of Net Assessment, he has shaped the "Team B" analysis of the Soviet threat in the 1970s, the "competitive strategies" doctrine of countering Soviet numbers with superior technology in the 1980s, the "revolution in military affairs" (stealth, smart bombs, computer networks) of the 1990s, and current thinking on radical Islam and a rising China. Jokingly called "Yoda" by admirers, the 83-year-old Marshall is a lifelong advocate of advanced military technology, much of which has moved from science fiction to battlefield reality in his lifetime. The Bush administration may be the apogee of Marshall's influence, as Rumsfeld strives to replace Industrial Age tank divisions and aircraft carriers with Information Age networks of nimbler weapons. Born in Detroit, Marshall graduated from the University of Chicago in 1949 and worked at the Rand think tank from 1949 to 1972, when he joined President Nixon's National Security Council. "Working for Marshall is like writing a higher-order doctoral dissertation," recalled Andrew Krepinevich, a former Net Assessment staffer. "It's very demanding. He wants you to break new ground."

Ronald M. Sega
Director, Defense Research and Engineering

It's a dream for many young boys and girls, but somebody has to grow up to be an astronaut. Sega is one of those who did. Like space explorers Neil Armstrong and John Glenn, Sega was raised in Ohio. He eventually flew two space shuttle missions, including the one in 1994 that was the first joint U.S.-Russian shuttle mission. These days, back on Earth, Sega serves as principal technical adviser to the Defense secretary, and he oversees DARPA, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the central research-and-development arm of the Pentagon. Lately, Sega's office has been focusing on bringing new technologies quickly to the battlefields in Iraq, including new armor for Humvees and devices to foil roadside bombs. Sega, 52, has a bachelor's degree from the Air Force Academy, a master's from Ohio State University, and a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the University of Colorado (Colorado Springs), where he later served as dean of the college of engineering and applied science.

Robert S. Rangel
Special Assistant to the Secretary

Rangel has switched branches of government -- and National Journal special issues. A stalwart of the House Armed Services Committee staff for 18 years, rising to staff director, Rangel has rated a profile in every edition of National Journal's Hill People since 1995, when he was called the committee's "best-kept secret." But now Rangel, still just 46, has quit the Capitol for the Pentagon. As "special assistant," he'll be the de facto chief of staff to the mercurial and hard-to-manage Rumsfeld. He replaces Paul Butler, who in turn replaced Lawrence DiRita, now the Pentagon's top spokesman, who is an intimate of Rumsfeld's innermost circle. Rangel, by contrast, comes from the outside, rarely gives interviews, and is known for his quiet efficiency. "He knows his limits as a staff person," said one Hill colleague. "And he's the finest staff person I've ever worked with over here. He knows the laws inside and out, he knows the process inside and out -- and he'll need it." A native of Lexington, Ky., Rangel graduated from the University of Kentucky and came to Washington in 1986 to work for then-Rep. Larry Hopkins, R-Ky.


Francis Harvey
Army Secretary

"I had never heard of him," says one Army insider when asked about the Bush administration's surprise pick last fall to head the largest of the military services. Harvey, a business executive with no prior military service, was expected to become the Pentagon's chief information officer. But James Roche, the original nominee who was picked to switch from Air Force to Army secretary, withdrew in a political squabble, and Harvey got the nod. Despite questions about his experience, the Senate easily confirmed him in November. Harvey's only previous Army ties were his service on the Army Science Board from 1999 to 200l, and his stint as a special assistant to Defense Secretary Harold Brown during a White House Fellowship in 1978 and 1979. But Harvey is familiar with the Pentagon; from 1969 to 1997, he worked as a top executive for Westinghouse Electric's defense programs. He then worked as vice chairman for Duratek, a company that specializes in treating radioactive and other hazardous waste; the Defense and Energy departments are among its clients. The company is owned by the Carlyle Group, a Washington investment firm with ties to top Republicans and former Defense officials. Harvey, 62, a Pennsylvania native, earned his bachelor's degree from Notre Dame and a doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania; both degrees were in metallurgy.

Gen. Peter Schoomaker
Army Chief of Staff

When the phone call came in summer 2003 asking Schoomaker to come out of a comfortable retirement to take the Army's top uniformed job, he thought it was a joke. His predecessor had famously feuded with Defense Secretary Rumsfeld, and a number of active-duty generals had flatly turned down the job. The Army was clearly in trouble, straining under the burdens of war in Afghanistan and Iraq, and under intense pressure from Rumsfeld's staff to transform more quickly to a more expeditionary force. Why would anyone want to take the helm of the Army under such circumstances? "The simple answer is, because the nation is at war," Schoomaker, 59, told National Journal in an interview last year. "Did I want to take this job? No, I did not want it. But I had committed my life to the Army. My father served in the Army for over three decades. My brother is in the Army. My daughter is going into the Army. So in my family, when your nation asks you to do something, that's what you do." Coming from the elite Special Forces community, Schoomaker had also long thought that the Army needed to transform itself into a more flexible force. In return for signing wholeheartedly on to Rumsfeld's transformation agenda, Schoomaker won a Pentagon pledge to increase the size of the service by 30,000 soldiers -- temporarily but most likely permanently -- to relieve the stress of constant combat deployments. Schoomaker, an Army brat who spent his formative youthful years in Michigan, earned an undergraduate degree at the University of Wyoming, followed by a master's from Central Michigan University. He was one of the original members of the elite Delta Force counter-terrorism commando unit that tried to rescue U.S. hostages in Iran in 1980.

Raymond DuBois
Acting Undersecretary of the Army

DuBois was among the inner circle of advisers Rumsfeld met with soon after he was named Defense secretary in 2001. "It was kind of amazing," said DuBois, who served as an aide to Rumsfeld when Rumsfeld was Defense secretary in the Ford administration. "It was as if 24 years had gone by in a blink, and we were all back together again, trying to help this guy in whom we had so much confidence, even when he was only 43. And now he was 68." In between his two stints at the Pentagon, DuBois pursued a career in business. Born in Washington, D.C., and raised a Navy brat, DuBois served as an executive for a variety of companies dealing in software, electronics, and consulting until in 1995 he founded his own consultancy, called Potomac Strategies International. DuBois, 57, earned a bachelor's degree at Princeton in 1972, after serving a yearlong tour in Vietnam as a combat intelligence operations sergeant in the Army, beginning in 1968.

Claude M. Bolton Jr.
Assistant Secretary for Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology

Bolton flew jet fighters for the Air Force over Vietnam. Now he's piloting the Army's acquisition office as it struggles to bring space-age technology to ground warfare. Bolton's push for the Future Combat System -- intended to replace all heavy armored vehicles with a nimbler, computer-networked force -- has faced particularly fierce skepticism in Congress. "The Hill is doing what they should: They are challenging me; they are challenging the Army," Bolton said. "When I first looked at this program, in my mind, the probability of success was about zero." But today, the ambitious high-tech initiative is on track, Bolton insisted: "I clearly see the need for this, having spent my life flying the technology and knowing what it can do for you." Bolton, 59, is a Nebraska native who entered the Air Force from the University of Nebraska's ROTC; he holds degrees from Troy State University in Alabama and the Naval War College. After a career in the cockpit, he led the Advanced Tactical Fighter Technologies Program -- now the F/A-22 -- before retiring at the rank of major general.

John Paul Woodley Jr.
Assistant Secretary for Civil Works, Army Corps of Engineers

After more than two years of holdups, the Senate gave Woodley its nod in May to head the Army's civil works and military construction operations. Woodley, who served briefly as assistant secretary after a 2003 recess appointment, has jumped right into the Corps's efforts to manage water resources hurt by drought in Western and Southern states. The Shreveport, La., native had clashed with lawmakers, including Alabama's two Republican senators -- Jeff Sessions and Richard Shelby -- over concerns that the Corps had favored Georgia in a decade-long water dispute involving Alabama, Florida, and Georgia. Woodley gained expertise in environmental issues as assistant deputy undersecretary of Defense (environment), overseeing the Defense environmental program, and earlier as Virginia's secretary of natural resources. But his Defense experiences began even earlier than that -- with an ROTC scholarship to Washington & Lee University, where Woodley received his B.A. and J.D. Soon after earning his law degree, he began 16 years of active duty with the Army Judge Advocate General's Corps, followed by 18 years as an Army reservist.

Daniel Denning
Acting Assistant Secretary, Manpower and Reserve Affairs

A native Hoosier, Denning, 60, has split his education and professional career between Indiana and Washington. He graduated with public administration degrees from Indiana University and American University, and his early career included stints as an Army intelligence officer and a reservist. He also held posts in two previous Republican administrations. In the 1990s, Denning served in management at General Electric and at conservative nonprofits, including the American Legislative Exchange Council (a group of state lawmakers) and the Heritage Foundation. He returned to the public sector shortly after September 11, arriving at an Army undergoing the largest Guard and Reserve mobilization in 50 years. Colleagues know him to be professional and pleasant, with logistical smarts and a willingness to delegate. One occasion that showed these traits was an annual meeting that turned into a "logistical nightmare," because the locale proved too small to host the gathering. Denning quickly took charge, having people moved with buses and putting outdoor tents into place. In some ways, he's doing much the same thing today. And he's doing it while still holding on to two deputy assistant secretary positions.


Dionel M. Aviles
Undersecretary of the Navy

Aviles brings a combination of military service, Hill contacts, and budget expertise to his job as undersecretary. Previously the assistant secretary for financial management/comptroller, Aviles recently assumed most of the responsibilities of the service's top civilian job when Navy Secretary Gordon England became acting deputy secretary of Defense. Aviles, 44, was born in Texas and raised in Florida. He is a Naval Academy graduate who also earned an M.B.A. from George Washington University. After completing a Navy tour in 1988, Aviles went to work in the National Security Division of the Office of Management and Budget during the Bush I and Clinton administrations. From 1995 to 2001, he served as a professional staffer to the House Armed Services Committee. A colleague describes Aviles as thoughtful, driven, and very dedicated to the Navy-Marine Corps team. A Navy reservist, he enjoys spending time with his young son. Loren Thompson, a Lexington Institute analyst and a consultant to the defense industry, says that the highly-regarded Aviles "stands out as somebody everyone respects."

Adm. Michael (Mike) Mullen
Chief of Naval Operations

Mullen took over as chief of Naval Operations in July, relieving Adm. Vern Clark. Originally from Hollywood, Calif., Mullen began his career as a Navy officer in 1968, when he graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy. A surface-warfare officer, he has commanded a destroyer and a guided-missile cruiser. By 2000, Mullen had risen to become commander of the U.S. Second Fleet, which is responsible for naval operations in the North Atlantic. Mullen, who earned a master's from the Naval Postgraduate School and graduated from the Harvard Business School Advanced Management Program, became vice chief of naval operations in 2003. He hopes to see the Navy modernize rapidly during his time as chief of naval operations. "Change is hard. I know that," Mullen said during an address to sailors this spring. "But we are up against a new and elusive enemy. The only way we can win is to transform -- to change the way we think about war, as well as the way we fight it."

Gen. Michael W. Hagee
Marine Corps Commandant

A career military man, Hagee graduated from the Naval Academy in 1968 with a degree in engineering. He later earned a master's at the Naval Postgraduate School in electrical engineering, and he has a master's in national security and strategic studies from the Naval War College. Hagee served as senior military assistant to the deputy Defense secretary in the Clinton administration. He was deputy director of operations for the U.S. European Command from 1996 to 1998, and was director of strategic plans and policy for U.S. Pacific Command from 1999 to 2000. Hagee's office did not respond to questions sent to the commandant for this profile. Hagee has been a strong evangelist for the work of the Marine Corps in Iraq. In February testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee, he praised the military's joint capabilities in the 2004 battle of Falluja.

John J. Young
Assistant Secretary for Research, Development, and Acquisition

Young was a trusted staff analyst on the Senate Appropriations Defense Subcommittee when, in July 2001, the administration stole him away for this job as the Navy's chief weapons buyer. Now on the other side of the spending give-and-take between Congress and the military, he is charged with protecting the interests of the Navy while his former bosses seek to defend their home-state defense industries. Recently, he has been pushing to have the Navy's next-generation destroyer, the stealthy DDX, built by only one shipyard instead of two, as Congress prefers. Young, 42, grew up in Newnan, Ga. While attending Georgia Tech, he interned in the office of then-Sen. Sam Nunn, D-Ga. He received his master's degree from Stanford University in aeronautics and astronautics. Young also worked for several defense contractors -- BDM, Lockheed Martin Tactical Aircraft Systems, and Rockwell Missile Systems Division. While at Sandia National Laboratories in 1991, he received a 12-month congressional fellowship focused on learning about the budget process. He ended up staying with the Senate committee for a decade.

William A. Navas Jr.
Assistant Secretary for Manpower and Reserve Affairs

Bush's choice to oversee the Navy's personnel -- including more than 842,000 active military, civilian, and reserve members -- started out as an Army man. In 1965, Navas was commissioned a regular Army officer, and he served tours of duty in Vietnam and Germany. He left the Army in 1970 as a captain. Navas is a native of Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, and a graduate of the University of Puerto Rico. He joined the island's National Guard after leaving the Army and spent the 1970s working in land development, design, and construction. Between 1987 and 1998, he was an active-duty Army brigadier and major general, and he ended his uniformed career as director of the Army National Guard. As the Navy's manpower chief, Navas has spent time restructuring the Naval and Marine Corps Reserves to better meet the needs of the war in Iraq and the global war on terror. He also will be knee-deep in implementing the Pentagon's new civil service system for the sea services. Navas, 62, earned his master's of science in management engineering at the University of Bridgeport in Connecticut.


Michael Dominguez
Acting Air Force Secretary

Dominguez, 51, is a career civil servant who became a political appointee -- a rare breed in the executive branch. He also may be the hardest-working person in the Pentagon. Several high-profile jobs in the Air Force are vacant, so Dominguez is currently carrying all of these portfolios: acting secretary; assistant secretary for manpower and reserve affairs, a position he's held since 2001; service acquisition chief; and the Defense Department's executive agent for space. Dominguez became acting secretary in March, and immediately jumped into the frying pan. Allegations of religious intolerance at the Air Force Academy have provoked an investigation, while the academy's sexual-assault scandal, which erupted in 2003, continues to simmer. And this year's controversial round of base closings, not to mention the ongoing war in Iraq, is causing turmoil service-wide. Referring specifically to the academy scandals, Dominguez says a top priority has been to "re-establish trust and confidence in the Air Force." An Air Force brat who was born in Austin, Dominguez served in the Army for five years, from 1975 to 1980. "I was attracted to the challenge of leading soldiers in combat," he said. Except for a two-year stint at a dot-com, Dominguez has worked for the Pentagon since the early 1980s. He has a bachelor's degree from West Point and an M.B.A. from Stanford University.

Gen. John P. Jumper
Air Force Chief of Staff

Jumper's first full day as chief was September 11, 2001. "It was a very short honeymoon in this job," he says, with the terrorist attacks forcing him to devote a lot of time preparing for wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Jumper, 60, the senior uniformed Air Force officer, has also dealt with the personnel and technology issues of military transformation. He is a native of Paris, Texas, and a former commander of Air Combat Command. He has a bachelor's from Virginia Military Institute and an M.B.A. from Golden Gate University (San Francisco). Jumper will step down from his position in September, and Air Force Vice Chief of Staff T. Michael Moseley, another Texan, has been nominated to take his place. Moseley was the Central Command Air Force commander in the Iraq war. Lexington Institute defense expert Loren Thompson says that Moseley is much more relaxed than the sometimes-intense Jumper. But in terms of a policy agenda, Moseley and Jumper appear similar. Moseley "will continue to press the case for more F-22 fighters," Thompson says, and "will continue to argue that 'air dominance' is a neglected area that requires more resources and attention from the department."

William C. Anderson
Assistant Secretary (designate) for Installations and Environment

One of Anderson's most pressing tasks will be to "oversee the implementation of the BRAC recommendations," says Tim Ford, the executive director of the Association of Defense Communities, referring to the Base Realignment and Closure Commission. "There is a constant push for transformation and privatization of everything," Ford says, and Anderson, a former General Electric executive, will bring valuable private-sector experience to bear on the daunting logistical challenge BRAC poses. The 46-year-old New York native has spent the past 15 years at GE, most recently as general manager and senior counsel for environmental, health, and safety at the company's headquarters in Connecticut. Previously, he served as general counsel and director of quality and environmental affairs at GE Power Controls in Ghent, Belgium, and as integration manager for GE Power Controls in Frankfurt, Germany. A graduate of Washington College, Anderson holds a law degree from Syracuse University.

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