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Letter Accepting the Resignation of John H. Chafee as Secretary of the Navy.

April 04, 1972

Dear John:

It is with special regret that I accept, as you have requested, your resignation as Secretary of the Navy, effective upon a date to be determined. In doing so, I want to express my deep gratitude for your superb service to the Navy and the country for the past three years.

From the first days of this Administration, you have brought to your challenging responsibilities a rare combination of managerial skill, sound judgment, and uncommon dedication, giving the men and women of our Navy and Marine Corps the wise leadership they so richly deserve.

As Secretary of the Navy, you have contributed enormously to our national security. I have especially valued your outstanding efforts in helping to carry out our Vietnamization policy, while simultaneously taking the needed steps to modernize our Fleet. The new, bold programs developed under your guidance hold great promise for the future of our naval forces.

You have every reason to take the fullest measure of satisfaction from the splendid work you have accomplished. On behalf of all your friends here in Washington-and your fellow citizens across the nation--I welcome this opportunity to say "Well Done!" and to extend warmest good wishes for your continued success in the years ahead.



[Honorable John H. Chafee, Secretary of the Navy, Washington, D.C. 20350]

Note: A White House announcement of the President's intention to nominate John W. Warner as Secretary of the Navy was released on April 7, 1972, and is printed in the Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents (vol. 8, p. 733).

Mr. Chafee's letter of resignation was released along with the President's letter and read as follows:

Dear Mr. President:

I submit herewith my resignation as Secretary of the Navy to be effective at your pleasure at the earliest practical date which would allow for an orderly turnover of the office. It has been a tremendous pleasure and privilege to serve in this position and as a member of your Administration. I am most grateful for the trust you have placed in me.

During my tenure as Secretary of the Navy, the Navy and the Marine Corps have been in transition as a result of our winding down the war in Vietnam and our preparation for the period beyond Vietnam. We are modernizing our forces and they are ready to meet the challenges of the future.

Under your leadership and that of Secretary of Defense Laird, we in the Department of the Navy have participated in the development and implementation of the Nixon doctrine and the national security strategy of realistic deterrence. I take great pride in having been a part of so vital an enterprise.

The nation is greatly in your debt for your untiring efforts to bring a generation of peace to the world and to promote domestic tranquility. The Navy and Marine Corps appreciate your support and have benefitted from your compassion and interest in the individual Sailor and Marine.

With deep appreciation for the opportunity you have given me to be of service to our country, I wish to you and Mrs. Nixon continued good health and happiness in the coming years.

Respectfully yours,


[The President, The White House, Washington, D.C. 20500]

Richard Nixon, Letter Accepting the Resignation of John H. Chafee as Secretary of the Navy. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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