Recently a list was published citing the 100 Most Influential People in the U.S. defense community — a report compiled over a five-month period by more than two dozen reporters and editors representing the world's biggest military newsroom and award winning staffs of Gannett Government Medias publications such as the Defense News, Army Times and Navy Times.
The U.S. Defense community represents the best America has to offer in leadership, innovation, technology and vision. President George W. Bush once said that the job of president is to be the ultimate decider, so the president is not on the list.
Tom Donilon, the National Security Adviser, is ranked No. 1, with Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta No. 2 and Hillary Clinton No. 3.
At No. 5., the highest ranked member of the defense community in uniform, is Tampa's SOCOM Commander Adm. Bill McRaven. The mastermind behind the raid that killed Osama bin Laden was at the time the commander of Joint Special Operations Command at Fort Bragg. He is a major player as the world's conventional forces shrink and global strategies move more to special operations.
No. 7. is the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, followed by rising star Gen. Joseph Dunsford, a potential Chairman of the Joint Chiefs. In the top twenty five is Marine Gen. James Mattis, Commander of U.S. Central Command, who led the initial invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq.
Army Gen. David Petraeus, long thought of as America's most powerful general, is now ranked No. 100.
What a tribute; "in our midst" two of the most influential and significant leaders in our nation's military establishment, Adm. McRaven and Gen. Mattis.