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John M.
Republican AZ

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  • Tribute to Richard D. Debobes

    by Senator John McCain

    Posted on 2013-02-28

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    McCAIN. Madam President, today I honor an exceptional public servant and patriot. After a lifetime of service to our Nation, Richard D. ``Rick'' DeBobes is retiring from his position as staff director of the Senate Armed Services Committee, effective February 28, 2013. On this occasion, it is fitting to recognize Rick's 50 years of uniformed and civilian service to our Nation.

    Rick began his career as a naval officer, serving 26 exemplary years in jobs that included directing the International Negotiations Branch of the Navy's Judge Advocate General, commanding the Naval Legal Service Office, and finally serving as the legal adviser and legislative assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, where he helped craft policies that have shaped our modern joint military force. Such a career, in and of itself, illustrates a commitment to causes greater than self-interest.

    Rick's devotion to service and excellence continued long after he left active duty. Upon his retirement from the Navy, he joined the Senate Armed Services Committee as counsel, advising committee members on issues relating to national security strategy, defense policy, foreign affairs, and Department of Defense organization and management. Rick's authoritative analysis and counsel to members distilled complex issues and often served as a basis for common understanding and problem solving. Few were surprised then, when in 2003 he was asked by Senator Carl Levin to be the committee's staff director. Ten years on, the wisdom of that selection is evident. Rick's steady management of the committee, amidst strong personalities and throughout the occasionally animated policy debates, has yielded the admiration of his professional colleagues in Congress and the Department of Defense, and a long record of legislative success. Thoughtful leaders throughout government will feel his absence.

    I join many past and present members of the Senate Armed Services Committee in my gratitude to Rick DeBobes for his outstanding leadership in uniform and in Congress, and his unceasing support for members of the Armed Forces. I wish him and his wife Margaret ``fair winds and following seas.'' ____________________

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