Mideast edition, Tuesday, June 5, 2007

ARLINGTON, Va. — The vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is retiring.

Adm. Edmund P. Giambastiani Jr. is stepping down after more than 37 years in the Navy, said Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman.

“We should all thank him for such long and — not only honorable but also effective service to this country,” Whitman said.

Whitman said he did not know if Giambastiani had written Defense Secretary Robert Gates a formal letter announcing his intention to retire.

A senior defense official said Giambastiani had decided to retire to spend more time with his family and explore new opportunities. The official declined to elaborate.

Giambastiani also feels he has accomplished many of the things he came to Washington to do, the official said.

Widely known as “Admiral G,” Giambastiani graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy with leadership distinction in 1970.

His previous assignments include serving as head of Submarine Development Squadron 12; enlisted program manager at Navy Recruiting Command Headquarters in Washington; NATO’s first supreme allied commander transformation; and senior military assistant to former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

In August 2005, Giambastiani replaced Gen. Peter Pace as the second-highest-ranking officer in the U.S. military. In that capacity, Giambastiani worked with the services on acquisition issues.

Giambastiani also serves as co-chair of the Deputies Advisory Working Group, which oversees the implementation of the 2006 Quadrennial Defense Review, which, among other recommendations, called for special forces to grow by 15 percent, or five battalions.

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