Pentagon's Y2K point man steps down

In an unexpected move, John Hamre, who led the Defense Department's efforts to prepare for the Year 2000 computer problem, is leaving to head a major think tank.

John Hamre In an unexpected move, John Hamre, the Pentagon's point man in preparing for the Year 2000 computer problem, said he is stepping down to head a major think tank.

Secretary of Defense William Cohen announced the departure yesterday and said he has recommended that President Clinton nominate Rudy de Leon, a Pentagon veteran, to replace Hamre as Deputy Secretary of Defense.

Back to Year 2000 Index Page "Hamre approaches all issues with extreme confidence and an extraordinary sense of humor. He is committed to fixing problems with solutions that are effective, practical and fair to all concerned," Cohen said in a statement.

Under Hamre's leadership, U.S. military computers and weapons were ready for the Y2K rollover by Dec. 16, 1999, after an 18-month readiness effort costing taxpayers $3.6 billion.

Y2K aside, Hamre played a key role in shoring up Pentagon computer systems against homegrown and state-coordinated cyberattacks.

Hamre was sworn in as Deputy Secretary of Defense on July 29, 1997. Prior to that he had served as the comptroller of the department from 1993 to 1997.

Before coming to the department, Hamre served for ten years as a professional staff member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. During this time he was responsible for the oversight and evaluation of procurement, research and development programs, and defense budget issues.

De Leon, Cohen's recommended replacement for Hamre, currently serves as Undersecretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness.