|WASHINGTON, D.C. (American Forces Press Service) — John
McHugh was sworn in as the 21st secretary of the Army Sept. 21 following
his nomination by President Barack Obama and confirmation by the U.S.
John McHugh (right) takes the
oath of office as the Army’s 21st secretary during a ceremony at
the Pentagon. Joyce Morrow
(left), the Army secretary’s administrative assistant,
administers the oath, and Anne LeMay, special assistant, holds
the Bible. (U.S. Army Photo)
As secretary, McHugh has statutory responsibility for all matters
relating to the Army: manpower, personnel, reserve affairs,
installations, environmental issues, weapons systems and equipment
acquisition, communications and financial management.
McHugh also is responsible for the Army’s annual and supplemental
budget, which this year was more than $200 billion.
He leads a work force of more than 1.1 million active duty, National
Guard and Reserve Soldiers; 221,000 civilian employees; and 213,000
contracted workers. Also, he provides stewardship over 14 million acres
Over the last eight years, McHugh made 10 official visits to Iraq and
four visits to Afghanistan and other deployed locations to visit U.S.
During his July 30 nomination hearing before the Senate Armed Services
Committee, McHugh said that he was excited, humbled and honored at his
new opportunity to serve, and that he understands the challenges facing
“They are strained by the frequency of constant deployments and stress
by the pressures levied against their families,” he said. “Too often —
far too often — they return home only to be disappointed by a network of
support systems that, despite high intentions and constant effort,
continue to fall short of the level of support they so richly deserve
and each and every one of us so deeply desire.”
As secretary, McHugh will draw on his years of experience as the ranking
member of the House Armed Services Committee, which oversees the
policies and programs for the department and each of the services.
In addition, at the time of his nomination, McHugh was co-chair of the
House Army Caucus, a bipartisan group that works to educate fellow House
members and their staffs about Army issues and programs, and a 14-year
member of the U.S. Military Academy Board of Visitors.
In his concluding statement July 30, McHugh said he was inspired by the
wounded warriors he’d met. “I have been so struck how these heroes,
facing pain and loss and uncertainty, ask one question: ‘What else can I
do to serve?’”
He continued, “We can ask no less of ourselves.”
Also at the Pentagon ceremony, Joseph Westphal assumed the duties of the
30th under secretary of the Army.
Westphal has served in distinguished positions in academia, as well as
private and public service, including a brief tour in 2001 as acting
secretary of the Army. He served as the assistant secretary of the Army
for civil works from 1998 to 2001.
McHugh has served more than 16 years as a member of Congress
representing northern and central New York.
During his service, he forged strong ties to Fort Drum and earned a
reputation as a staunch advocate for Soldiers and their families,
working tirelessly to ensure they had proper facilities, training and
the quality of life necessary to carry out wartime missions while caring
for those at home.