WASHINGTON (AP) - Leon Panetta has been sworn in as secretary of defense, becoming President Barack Obama's second Pentagon chief.
In a private ceremony Friday, Panetta took the oath of office. He immediately sent a message to all troops and Pentagon civilian workers, promising to emulate his predecessor, Robert Gates, in his devotion to the armed forces and their families.
Panetta had been director of the CIA for the past 2½ years. He is the first Democrat to run the Pentagon since William Perry during President Bill Clinton's first term. The three Pentagon chiefs since Perry - William Cohen, Donald Rumsfeld, and Gates - were all Republicans.