Washington, DC – House Armed Services Committee Chairman Ike Skelton released the following statement concerning the nomination of Admiral Michael G. Mullen as the next Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff:

        "Admiral Mullen is an excellent choice to serve as the next Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The Chairman has a unique role under the Goldwater-Nichols Act, serving as an advisor to both the President and to the Secretary of Defense. Admiral Mullen understands the importance of jointness, has a solid background of leadership, and I am confident that he will fulfill this role well.

        "General James Cartwright, who will be nominated as Vice Chairman, is another outstanding choice. His talents will be a valuable addition to this military leadership team.

        "I want to extend my utmost gratitude to General Peter Pace for his service to our nation, including three years as Chairman and three years as Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and to Admiral Edmund Giambastiani, who serves as the current Vice Chairman. Both have served our nation well throughout a difficult time in American history. They deserve our appreciation and thanks."