By Debbie Gregory.
Patrick Murphy was recently sworn in as Secretary of the Army. He holds the distinction of being the first veteran of the Iraq War to be elected to the United States House of Representatives. He was also the leading advocate for repealing the Pentagon’s don’t-ask-don’t-tell policy in 2009, enabling gay soldiers to serve openly.
Murphy is now the Army’s highest-ranking civilian leader. He intends to focus the Army’s resources on preparing troops for targeted missions, enhancing training facilities, and improving coordination with the Veterans Administration. Additionally, he wants to focus on women in the military.
Murphy went on active duty in the Army in 2000. He served as a staff judge advocate and then joined the military faculty at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, where he taught constitutional law. After the September 11 attacks, Murphy volunteered for overseas deployment, serving in Bosnia (2002) and in Baghdad during the Iraq War (2003–2004). While in Baghdad as a JAG Corps attorney with the U.S. 82nd Airborne Division, Murphy worked to reconstruct the justice system and helped prosecute Sheik Moyad, a lieutenant of Muqtada al-Sadr. A graduate of the U.S. Army Airborne School at Fort Benning, dual Qualified as a Basic Parachutist and in Air Assault, Murphy was one of over fifty thousand soldiers awarded the Bronze Star Medal for meritorious service in Iraq. Following his service in Iraq, he returned to Fort Bragg and continued his service as a JAG officer before being released from active duty in 2004.
Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Milley has nothing but high praise for Murphy.
“I don’t know if I’ve seen very many folks in uniform or out of uniform as committed to the United States Army and its success as Secretary Murphy. That comes through in spades every day in every meeting on every issue,” Mr. Milley said.
In his role as secretary, Mr. Murphy oversees 1.4 million soldiers and civilians.