I was saddened to hear today of the passing of former Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld. Mr. Rumsfeld had the singular distinction of holding that post for two nonconsecutive tenures, serving as both the 13th Secretary of Defense and the 21st. He also served in the U.S. Navy in 1954-57 as a pilot and a flight instructor, and he continued his service as a reservist until 1975, when he became Secretary of Defense for the first time. Over the decades of his remarkable career, from Congress to the White House to the Pentagon, Secretary Rumsfeld was propelled by his boundless energy, probing intellect, and abiding commitment to serve his country. On behalf of the Department of Defense, I extend my deep condolences to his family and loved ones.
The following statement was released by Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III.