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Westphal: leader among public servants

By C. Todd Lopez

WASHINGTON (Nov. 02, 2009) -- The new under secretary of the Army is above the fray of Washington politics, and is a true civil servant, said the secretary of Army.

"Prestige and power can be very fickle companions," said Secretary of the Army John M. McHugh. "But there are those individuals who don't care about that, people who don't play that time-tested but perhaps not-so-true Washington game. Instead, they are public servants ... people who are motivated by a deep sense of appreciation for our system of democracy and who principally hold in their hearts and in their minds their admiration for our men and women in uniform."

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McHugh spoke before an audience of Army civilians and Soldiers during a swearing-in ceremony, Oct. 30 at the Pentagon, for Under Secretary of the Army Joseph W. Westphal. He said he counted the new under secretary amongst those public servants he holds in high regard.

"From everything I know about Dr. Westphal, he is not just one of those individuals, he is a leader amongst them," McHugh said.

After speaking, McHugh administered the oath of office to Westphal, and then turned the podium over to the under secretary.

"To be really successful in these jobs -- (with) the people we are partnered with, we have to have trust and confidence in them and we have to have a friendship with them," Westphal said. "I don't think you can really be successful together and accomplish things if you don't have that relationship."

The under secretary told attendees, which included his family, members of congress, and past Army civilian and military leaders, that he enjoyed the kind of professional working relationship with McHugh that is necessary to accomplish the mission of running the Army.

"There is a great bond between us -- confidence, trust and friendship -- that I think makes our ability to deliver for the secretary of defense and for the president, very, very good work at the end of the day," Westphal said.

Westphal now serves as the 30th under secretary of the Army. He comes from a background of service in both academia and government. He served as the assistant secretary of the Army for civil works from 1998 to 2001, and in 2001, served as acting secretary of the Army.

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