|Brownlee Sworn in As Under Secretary of Army |
Brownlee Sworn in As Under Secretary of Army
By Gary Sheftick, Army News Service.
Washington D.C. -- (ANS) December 12, 2001 -- Retired Col. Les Brownlee became under secretary of the Army Dec. 11 in an afternoon ceremony conducted in front of the hallway Christmas decorations outside his new office at the Pentagon.
Secretary of the Army Thomas E. White (left), administers the oath of office to Les Brownlee (right) while Brownlee's children John and Tracy hold the bible. Brownlee was sworn-in as the Under Secretary of the Army during a Pentagon ceremony Dec. 12, after saying it was great to have Brownlee aboard as under secretary "in these hectic days as we prosecute a war and transform the Army for the future."
Photo by Gary Sheftick
White said he had two criteria for selecting his assistant. First he said the person had to love the Army, explaining that meant loving soldiers and what the Army stands for - it's values.
"The second thing is: I was looking for people that could hit the ground running and knew a great deal about the Army because we didn't have time for spin up," White said, "and Les qualified in spades on that account as well."
For the past 14 years, Brownlee has served on the staff of the Senate Armed Services Committee. When he retired from the Army in 1984, Brownlee was serving as military executive to Under Secretary of the Army James Ambrose.
"I return to the same suite of offices I departed almost 18 years ago," Brownlee said, "although I admit that they're somewhat better..."
As under secretary, Brownlee's job is to assist the secretary of the Army in fulfilling statutory responsibilities for recruiting, organizing, supplying, equipping, training and mobilizing the Army and managing its $80 billion annual budget and more than 1.3 million active duty, National Guard, Army Reserve and civilian personnel.
Since 1996, he has been staff director of the Senate Armed Service Committee, serving in that position under both Sen. Strom Thurmond and Sen. John Warner.
From 1987 to 1996, he was the principal Senate Armed Services Committee professional staff member responsible for Army and Marine Corps programs, special operations forces and drug interdiction policy and support. In addition, as deputy staff director, he was deeply involved in policies and programs relating to ballistic missile defense, strategic deterrence and naval strategy, shipbuilding and weapons programs.
Brownlee was commissioned in 1962 as a lieutenant of infantry after being a distinguished honor graduate of the ROTC program at the University of Wyoming. He is a distinguished honor graduate of the U.S. Army Ranger Course, an honor graduate of the Infantry Officer Advanced Course and the Command and General Staff College, and a graduate of the Army's Airborne Course and the U.S. Army War College. Brownlee served two tours in Vietnam.
His military decorations include the Silver Star with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Bronze Star with two Oak Leaf Clusters, and the Purple Heart. He holds a masters degree in business administration from the University of Alabama.
"It is both an honor and privilege for me to return to the Army I love," Brownlee told the crowd gathered outside his office.
He said he looks forward to the full story being told about what the Army is accomplishing in Afghanistan.
"The story of what our soldiers have done in Afghanistan -- especially the Special Forces -- is just beginning to be told," Brownlee said. "But when it is, I'm sure all America will be proud."