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Pete Geren
20th United States Secretary of the Army

In office
March 9, 2007 – September 16, 2009
President George W. Bush
Barack Obama
Preceded by Francis J. Harvey
Succeeded by John M. McHugh
United States Secretary of the Air Force

In office
June 29, 2005 – November 4, 2005
Preceded by Michael L. Dominguez
Succeeded by Michael Wynne
Member of the
U.S. House of Representatives
from Texas's 12th district

In office
September 12, 1989 – January 3, 1997
Preceded by Jim Wright
Succeeded by Kay Granger
Personal details
Born Preston Murdoch Geren, III
January 29, 1952(1952-01-29) (age 70)
Fort Worth, Texas
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Beckie Ray
Children Tracy, Annie, Mary
Alma mater Georgia Tech
University of Texas (B.A.)
University of Texas Law School (J.D.)
Profession Lawyer

Geren awarding the Distinguished Service Cross to 1LT Jackson.

Preston Murdoch "Pete" Geren, III[2] (born January 29, 1952 in Fort Worth, Texas) served as the 20th United States Secretary of the Army from July 16, 2007 to September 16, 2009. He is also a former member of the United States House of Representatives from Texas. He is currently president of the Sid W. Richardson Foundation in Fort Worth, Texas.[3]


Geren attended Georgia Tech from 1970 to 1973 (where he was the starting center for the football team) and received his B.A. from the University of Texas in 1974 and his Juris Doctor from University of Texas Law School in 1978.

Congressional career

Prior to joining the Department of Defense, Geren was an attorney and businessman in Fort Worth, Texas. He was an aide to U.S. Senator Lloyd Bentsen (1983–1985).[1]

From 1989 until 1997, Geren was a Democratic member of the U.S. Congress, representing Texas's 12th congressional district for four terms. He was first elected in a special election to succeed former Speaker of the House Jim Wright for the 12th congressional district in Texas, narrowly defeating Republican candidate, well known Fort Worth allergist Bob Lanier (not to be confused with the Houston mayor of the same name). Geren was re-elected for three more terms, but opted not to run in 1996. He was succeeded by Kay Granger.

While in Congress, Geren was credited with coining the term "Blue Dog Democrat". Moderate and conservative Democrats in Congress chose to name their group after this term, creating the Blue Dog Coalition. Geren opined that the members had been "choked blue" by "extreme" Democrats from the left.[4] It is related to the political term "Yellow Dog Democrat," a reference to southern Democrats said to be so loyal they would even vote for a yellow dog if it were labeled Democrat.

Department of Defense

Geren joined the Department of Defense in September 2001 to serve as Special Assistant to the Defense Secretary with responsibilities in the areas of inter-agency initiatives, legislative affairs and special projects.

On July 29, 2005, Bush appointed Geren the acting United States Secretary of the Air Force, a position he served in until the confirmation of his successor Michael Wynne in November 2005.

Geren at a press conference in 2007.

Geren was the 28th Undersecretary of the Army, a post he assumed on February 21, 2006, following his nomination by President George W. Bush and confirmation by the United States Senate. As the Undersecretary, Geren was the Army's No. 2 civilian leader. He served as the deputy and senior advisor to the Secretary of the Army and was Acting Secretary in the absence of the Secretary. In March 2007, Geren was named Acting Secretary of the United States Army by Defense Secretary Robert Gates, after Army Secretary Francis J. Harvey resigned amidst the scandal at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. On July 16, 2007, the Senate confirmed Geren as Secretary of the Army.[5]


  • "We as an Army failed in our duty to the Tillman family, the duty we owe to all the families of our fallen soldiers: Give them the truth, the best we know it, as fast as we can."[6]

See also

  • List of U.S. political appointments that crossed party lines


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Pete Geren." Marquis Who's Who TM. Marquis Who's Who, 2009. Reproduced in Biography Resource Center. Farmington Hills, Michigan: Gale, 2009. Document Number: K2013035006. Fee via Fairfax County Public Library, accessed 2009-05-11.
  2. [1]
  3. Leadership in the Sid W. Richardson Foundation, Official website, accessed Jan 8, 2012
  4. WordCraft, November 11, 2004
  5. Senate Names Pete Geren 20th Secretary of the Army
  6. "Shamefully unacceptable". Mercury News. San Jose, California. March 27, 2007.,E&p_text_date-0=9/11/2001%20to%205/11/2009)&p_field_advanced-0=&p_text_advanced-0=(%22We%20as%20an%20Army%20failed%20in%20our%20duty%20to%20the%20Tillman%20family%22)%20(%22%20the%20duty%20we%20owe%20to%20all%20the%20families%20of%20our%20fallen%20soldiers:%20Give%20them%20the%20truth%22)%20(%22%20the%20best%20we%20know%20it%22)%20(%22%20as%20fast%20as%20we%20can.%22)&xcal_numdocs=20&p_perpage=10&p_sort=YMD_date:D&xcal_useweights=no. Retrieved 2009-05-11. "Pat Tillman's family Monday blasted the latest Army investigation into his 2004 friendly fire death in Afghanistan as shamefully unacceptable, and vowed to press ahead with their own crusade to reveal the truth about the people who put him in harm's way – and concealed the real nature of his death for more than a month. The Pentagon announced Monday that one of..." 

External links

  • Pete Geren at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Jim Wright
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Texas's 12th congressional district

Succeeded by
Kay Granger
Government offices
Preceded by
Michael L. Dominguez
United States Secretary of the Air Force

July 29, 2005 – November 4, 2005
Succeeded by
Michael Wynne
Preceded by
Les Brownlee
United States Under Secretary of the Army
February 2006 – July 2007
Succeeded by
Nelson M. Ford
Preceded by
Francis J. Harvey
United States Secretary of the Army
March 10, 2007 – September 16, 2009
Acting Secretary until July 19, 2007
Succeeded by
John M. McHugh

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