The US Senate easily confirmed Dr. Ash Carter as defense secretary last week; today he will officially take over managerial control of the Pentagon.
“If anyone was made for this job, if there was a job description made for a person, this is a person who fits the job description,” Vice President Joe Biden said on Tuesday at the swearing in ceremony. “Dr Carter, as you take leadership of this greatest military in the history of mankind, [you] do so with the confidence of everyone in your building, confidence of the United States Senate, confidence of President Obama and me.”
Immediately after his remarks, Vice President Biden administered the oath of office, and the newly sworn-in defense secretary took the podium.
“For me, this is the highest honor to be the 25th secretary of defense,” Carter announced. “I am honored to rejoin the men and women of the Defense Department in what is the highest calling, which is the defense of our country."
"Starting today, I want to make three commitments,” he continued. “The first is to help our president make the best possible decisions about our security and the security of the world. And then to ensure that our department executes those decisions with its long accustomed competence and effectiveness."
Not surprisingly, he also emphasized his commitment to those serving with and under him.
"My second commitment is to the men and women of the defense department, whom I will lead, to reflect in everything I do and to honor the commitment and dedication that brought them into service," he said. "To protect their dignity, their safety, their wellbeing. To make decisions about sending them into harm’s way with the greatest reflection and care.”
“And third, [I'm committed] to building a force for our future," he continued. "That involves not only securing the resources we need but making sure we make the best use of the taxpayers' dollar. [We must] embrace change so that years from now, decades from now, we continue to be a place where America’s finest want to serve, and a place that is a beacon to the rest of the world.”