[Congressional Record Volume 161, Number 57 (Monday, April 20, 2015)]
[Page S2267]


  Mr. BURR. Mr. President, I wish to recognize the tremendous 
contributions of Dr. Michael G. Vickers, the Under Secretary of Defense 
for Intelligence. Secretary Vickers is retiring this month from the 
Federal Government having served with distinction in two critical 
leadership positions in the Department of Defense: Assistant Secretary 
of Defense for Special Operations/Low-Intensity Conflict and 
Interdependent Capabilities, ASD SO/LIC&IC, from 2007 to 2011, and 
Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence, USD(I), since 2011. His 
dedicated service has spanned the administrations of both President 
George W. Bush and President Barack Obama. Moreover, he has helped 
shape national security for three decades.
  Secretary Vickers is the Department's longest serving USD(I). During 
his tenure he has led a comprehensive, mission-focused transformation 
of defense intelligence, and has provided policy and operational 
oversight for numerous sensitive intelligence and counterterrorism 
operations. He played a critical policy and planning role in the 
operation that brought justice to Osama bin Ladin. Of note, we are only 
days away from the fourth anniversary of that successful operation, 
which occurred on May 2, 2011.
  As ASD SO/LIC&IC, Secretary Vickers served as the ``Service'' 
Secretary for all Special Operations Forces, and as the senior civilian 
advisor to the Secretary of Defense on all counterterrorism, irregular 
warfare, and special activities. He played a central role in shaping 
U.S. strategy for the war with Al Qaeda and the war in Afghanistan, and 
conceived of and led the largest expansion of SOF capabilities and 
capacity in history.
  From 1973 to 1986, Secretary Vickers served as an Army Special Forces 
noncommissioned officer, Special Forces officer, and Central 
Intelligence Agency operations officer. He had operational and combat 
experience in Central America and the Caribbean, the Middle East, and 
Central and South Asia. His operational experience spans covert action 
and espionage, unconventional warfare, counterterrorism, 
counterinsurgency, and foreign internal defense. During the mid-1980s, 
Secretary Vickers was the principal strategist for the largest covert 
action program in the CIA's history: the paramilitary operation that 
drove the Soviet Army out of Afghanistan.
  Because of Dr. Vickers' selfless service, hard work and tireless 
dedication, our Nation is a safer place. I want to thank him for his 
service and wish him and his family all the best as he begins his next