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Letter Accepting Resignation of Charles E. Wilson as Secretary of Defense.

October 02, 1957

[ Released October 2, 1957. Dated August 12, 1957 ]

Dear Charlie:

I deeply regret that the time is rapidly approaching when you will leave Government service. In keeping with the desires you expressed in your letter and in our earlier discussions, I must of course accept your resignation as Secretary of Defense, effective on a date to be arranged.

While the problems that have concerned all of us in the Administration during the past four and a half years have indeed been challenging, they have been especially so in the areas of concern to you. The security of the United States in this troubled era requires unceasing vigilance, complete devotion to duty, and a very broad range of abilities on the part of responsible officials. Thanks in large measure to your effective leadership and successful management of very complex responsibilities, the strength of our security forces has not only been maintained but has been significantly increased. At the same time, through the contribution you have made to improved efficiency of operations within the Department of Defense, it has been possible to carry on our security programs in a manner consistent with the requirements of a strong, healthy national economy.

I am certain that your record of achievement will long command the gratitude of the American people--as it does mine-and that the continuing readiness of our armed forces will be a lasting satisfaction to you. I know, too, that your associates in the Department, the National Security Council, and the Cabinet will in their deliberations greatly miss the wise counsel you have so helpfully provided. In this connection, I am thankful that you will be available for consultation with Mr. McElroy as he assumes these heavy responsibilities.

For the friendship and strong support you have given me these many months I have been deeply and constantly grateful.

With warm personal regard,



Note: Secretary Wilson's letter, dated August 7, 1957, follows:

Dear Mr. President:

Some months ago we discussed my desire to be relieved of my duties as Secretary of Defense before another year went by. To avoid an interim appointment it was necessary to designate someone for the assignment before Congress adjourned this summer.

When I accepted the appointment almost five years ago we had no understanding regarding how long I would carry it out, and I have already stayed much longer than I thought was possible or probable at that time.

It has been an honor and a privilege to serve my country as Secretary of Defense in your Administration. While I feel certain that I am doing the right thing in resigning, I am doing so with great regret for there is still much to be done and the assignment has been a great challenge.

I have every confidence that the appointment of Mr. Neil McElroy is an excellent one, and I stand ready to cooperate with him in every way.

My resignation, of course, will be effective at your pleasure.

With great respect, I am
Faithfully yours,

Dwight D. Eisenhower, Letter Accepting Resignation of Charles E. Wilson as Secretary of Defense. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/233693

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