Mullen Takes Over, Pace Retires

Adm. Michael Mullen now is Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, replacing Marine Corps Gen. Peter Pace who retired Oct. 1. During a ceremony at Ft. Myer, Va., Mullen vowed to give service members “clear direction, outstanding equipment, and focused policies.” Of Pace, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said he is “one of the last of a dwindling breed of officers,” those whose service has spanned four decades and “four eras” of US military history: the Vietnam War and the draft; the all-volunteer force and Desert Storm; the false tranquility following the Cold War; and the post 9/11 campaigns. Gates went on: “I value his candor, and I have come to trust his judgment in all matters.” Gates did not nominate Pace for a second term as Chairman for fear the confirmation process in a Democratic-controlled Senate would focus on the Iraq War so far rather than the future.