Pete Geren

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Pete Geren
Pete Geren, Secretary of the Army, official photo.jpg
20th United States Secretary of the Army
In office
March 9, 2007 – September 16, 2009
PresidentGeorge W. Bush
Barack Obama
Preceded byFrancis J. Harvey
Succeeded byJohn M. McHugh
Acting United States Secretary of the Air Force
In office
June 29, 2005 – November 4, 2005
PresidentGeorge W. Bush
Preceded byMichael L. Dominguez
Succeeded byMichael Wynne
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Texas's 12th district
In office
September 12, 1989 – January 3, 1997
Preceded byJim Wright
Succeeded byKay Granger
Personal details
Preston Murdoch Geren III

(1952-01-29) January 29, 1952 (age 68)
Fort Worth, Texas, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Beckie Ray
RelativesCharlie (Brother)
EducationGeorgia Institute of Technology
University of Texas at Austin (B.A., J.D.)
Army Secretary Pete Geren (far left), accompanied by (from left to right) his wife, Beckie, his children, Mrs. Shelia Casey and Army Chief of Staff Gen. George W. Casey Jr., during Mr. Geren's arrival ceremony as Secretary of the Army, Aug. 30, 2007.
Secretary of the Army Pete Geren and Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty welcome home Minnesota National Guard Soldiers deployed with the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division for the past 17 months at Volk Field, Wis., July 17.

Preston Murdoch Geren, III, known as Pete Geren[2] (born January 29, 1952) served as the 20th United States Secretary of the Army from July 16, 2007 to September 16, 2009. He is a Democratic former member of the United States House of Representatives from Texas's 12th congressional district. He is currently president of the Sid W. Richardson Foundation in Fort Worth, Texas[3] and later chaired of the Institute for Defense Analyses in Alexandria, Virginia.

Early life and education[edit]

Geren was born in Fort Worth, Texas. He attended Georgia Tech in Atlanta, Georgia, from 1970 to 1973, where he was the starting center for the football team. He received his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Texas in 1974 and his Juris Doctor from University of Texas Law School in 1978.

His older brother, Charlie Geren, is a Republican member of the Texas House of Representatives from District 99 in Tarrant County.

Congressional career[edit]

Prior to entering public service, Geren was an attorney and businessman in Fort Worth. From 1983 to 1985 he was an aide to Democrat U.S. Senator Lloyd Bentsen of Texas.[1]

From 1989 until 1997, Geren served for four terms in the United States House of Representatives. He was first elected in a special election to succeed former Speaker of the House Jim Wright. He narrowly defeated Republican candidate, well known Fort Worth allergist Bob Lanier (not to be confused with the mayor of Houston 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 a Democrat.

Department of Defense[edit]

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 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] On August 30, 2007, Geren established the independent Commission on Army Acquisition and Program Management in Expeditionary Operations to investigate the contingency contracting crisis within the army.[6][7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "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 May 11, 2009.
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ Leadership in the Sid W. Richardson Foundation, Official website, accessed January 8, 2012
  4. ^ WordCraft, November 11, 2004
  5. ^ Senate Names Pete Geren 20th Secretary of the Army
  6. ^ Army News Service (August 30, 2007). "Army Fights Contracting Fraud". Department of the Army. Retrieved January 15, 2014.
  7. ^ Commission on Army Acquisition and Program Management in Expeditionary Operations (October 31, 2007). "Urgent Reform Required: Army Expeditionary Contracting" (PDF). Department of the Army. Retrieved January 15, 2014.

External links[edit]

U.S. 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