Secretary changes: Army comes as Air Force goes
- By Frank Tiboni
- Nov 23, 2004
Francis Harvey is in as secretary of the Army and James Roche is on his way out as secretary of the Air Force.
Harvey became the 19th secretary of the Army during a Nov. 19 ceremony at the Pentagon. Roche formally announced his intention to resign on Nov. 16, with his last day planned for Jan. 20, according to statements issued by the Defense Department and the military.
Harvey said he will emphasize working with Army and DOD leaders to help the military fight the global war on terrorism while continuing to transform Army forces to smaller units equipped with lighter, more lethal weapons.
"This is a great honor for me," Harvey said in a statement. "My top priority will be to serve our soldiers, civilian employees and family members of the active component, Army Reserve and Army National Guard."
Senators confirmed Harvey by a vote of 85 to 12 Nov. 16 with three not voting. Bush administration officials nominated him in September for secretary of the Army and withdrew his nomination for DOD chief information officer.
Harvey is a former vice chairman of Duratek's board of directors and is known for his business aptitude. He has ties to the Carlyle Group, a powerful Washington, D.C., investment firm.
In October, Roche told Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld that he would complete his tenure as secretary of the Air Force at the end of President Bush's first term, according to a DOD statement. His accomplishments include development of the F/A-22 Raptor jet fighter, delivery of the Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicle, weapon system updates to the Predator drone and B-52 bomber, and better opportunities for master's degree programs for enlisted personnel, according to an Air Force report.
But Roche may also be remembered for serving as secretary of the Air Force during sex abuse scandals at the Air Force Academy and Justice Department and DOD investigations into service officials' mismanagement of a multibillion-dollar deal to buy refueling aircraft from Boeing. He withdrew his name from consideration for secretary of the Army after lawmakers failed to act on his nomination.
"I'm honored to have served the president, the secretary of Defense and the terrific airmen I've come to know and love in the past few years as the secretary of the Air Force," Roche said in the report.