ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Former Marine Corps officer James H. Webb was publicly sworn in Friday as the nation's 66th secretary of the Navy in a ceremony at the U.S. Naval Academy.
Defense Secretary Caspar W. Weinberger administered the oath to Webb, who is the second academy graduate to reach the Navy's highest post.
"In James Webb we have a tested leader and a true American hero," Weinberger told a crowd of 7,000--including 4,000 midshipmen--at the outdoor ceremony.
Webb, 41, quietly took the oath of office at the Pentagon on April 10. The academy's elaborate celebration, with honor guard and 21-gun salute, was in keeping with naval tradition.
The lawyer, author and decorated Vietnam veteran will oversee 584,000 Navy men and women and 199,000 Marines.