The Navy has welcomed a new Secretary of the Navy as Raymond Edwin Mabus, Jr. was officially sworn in by Secretary of Defense Robert Gates. Although Mabus has been on the job since May 19, 2009, the official ceremony was done just last Thursday, June 18. As Navy Secretary, Mabus is the top civilian official of the Navy and is now responsible for an annual budget of more than $150 billion and for almost 900,000 people
Mabus graduated from the University of Mississippi, completed a master’s degree at Johns Hopkins and finished law (magna cum laude) at Harvard Law School. In 1987, he became the youngest US governor as of that time. In a 1999 poll from Jackson Clarion-Ledger, Mabus was selected as the best governor of the millennium by the Mississippians. He also served as the US ambassador to Saudi Arabia from 1994 to 1996 after being appointed by President Bill Clinton.
He has received several distinctions from different organizations, including the US Department of Defense Distinguished Public Service Award, the US Army’s Distinguished Civilian Service Award, the Martin Luther King Social Responsibility Award from the King Center in Atlanta, the National Wildlife Federation Conservation Achievement Award, the King Abdul Aziz Award from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and the Mississippi Association of Educators’ Friend of Education Award.
Last Thursday’s event included a review of sailors and Marines, a performance by the Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon and two 19-gun salutes. This has been Mabus’ third swearing-in ceremony for the position after an initial oath on May 19 at the Pentagon and another at the White House with Vice President Joe Biden.