Kenneth J. Braithwaite has been sworn in as the 77th secretary of the United States Navy.
The ceremony took place on Friday at the Pentagon. Navy Times reports that Defense Secretary Mark Esper officiated.
Braithwaite, who formerly served as the U.S. ambassador to Norway, retired from the Navy in 2011 as a one-star rear admiral.
“I am incredibly humbled to stand before you, the greatest Navy and Marine Corps in the world, to accept this responsibility,” Braithwaite said in a message posted to the Navy’s website. “For nearly 35 years, I like you have served our country — first as a US Naval Officer deploying around the world to include sailing into harm’s way and most recently as our US Ambassador to Norway, a nation important to our national security. Never have I ever doubted why we serve…to protect and defend the greatest nation on earth…the United States of America!”
Braithwaite said the Navy faces “significant challenges,” but added that the “Navy and Marine Corps have faced tough times before.”
“The object of success for our service is simple: American Seapower,” he said. “America always has been and always will be a maritime nation. America and our principles of freedom rely on seapower delivered by a strong and capable Navy and Marine Corps. Each of you provides that power through your actions each day — actions that demonstrate our resolve to place service above self.”
MAIN PHOTO: WASHINGTON (May 29, 2020) With Ms. Braithwaite holding the Bible, retired Navy Rear Adm. Kenneth Braithwaite is sworn-in to serve as the 77th Secretary of the Navy, by Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper in the Pentagon. (DoD photo by Marvin Lynchard)