Commends both for military leadership, dedication to serving country

June 30, 2011

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen applauded the distinguished service of Secretary Robert Gates as he officially stepped down from his post as United States Secretary of Defense today. Shaheen also joined her colleagues in unanimously confirming General David Petraeus to serve as the next Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

“During his distinguished career of public service, Secretary Robert Gates has been the epitome of excellence and humility at a time of complex national security challenges,” said Shaheen, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and Senate Foreign Relations Committee. “Whether it has been stabilizing our efforts abroad or streamlining Department of Defense operations, he has provided unparalleled leadership instrumental to protecting our nation.  I’m proud to congratulate Secretary Gates on his retirement and I wish him all the best in his future endeavors.”

On the same day of Gates’ retirement, the Senate also voted to confirm General David Petraeus as the next Director of the CIA. Petraeus will fill the role vacated by Leon Panetta, who was voted to succeed Gates as Secretary of Defense in a Senate vote last week.

“We are incredibly fortunate that we have a military commander as well-qualified as General David Petraeus to step in and assume control of our intelligence efforts,” Shaheen said. “A resident of New Hampshire, General Petraeus will bring to the position a wealth of military experience shared only by a select few. He has consistently demonstrated himself as a strong and pragmatic leader and I look forward to working with him in advancing our national security goals.”

As the Commander of counter insurgency efforts in Iraq and Commander of U.S. Forces in Afghanistan, Petraeus is widely considered one of the distinguished military leaders in United States history. His nomination was unanimously approved by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence earlier this week.

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