Letter Accepting the Resignation of Paul Thayer as Deputy Secretary of Defense

January 4, 1984

Dear Paul:

It is with regret that I accept your resignation as Deputy Secretary of Defense.

During the period when you have served as the Pentagon's second-ranking civilian official, we have undertaken a major program to modernize every element of our military forces and prepare them to meet the challenges of the coming decade and beyond. You have played a key role in planning and putting into effect this crucially important project and especially in increasing the administrative efficiency of the large bureaucracy under your supervision. This is a task that cannot be accomplished overnight, but I know your successor will build on the solid foundations you have laid, and I want to thank you personally for a job well done.

Nancy and I send you our best wishes for every future success and happiness.

Sincerely,

Ronald Reagan

[The Honorable Paul Thayer, Deputy Secretary of Defense, The Pentagon, Washington, D.C. 20301]

B

Dear Mr. President:

For four decades -- beginning as a naval aviator in the Pacific in World War II -- I have been associated with some aspect of our national defense. When you took office and began to move to strengthen and revitalize our military, I shared with many Americans your sense of urgency and dedication. It was, therefore, without hesitation that I accepted your invitation to come to Washington and to be a part of this mission.

I believed then, as I do now, that your most important contribution to our country and to the world is your dedication to world peace and it has been rewarding to be able to support directly this endeavor. It had been my hope to continue to work with you and Secretary Weinberger on such vital projects as the recently completed Department of Defense budget -- a budget which will continue to rebuild our military capability.

However, I have been advised that the Securities and Exchange Commission intends to file a civil complaint against me alleging that I improperly divulged insider information concerning certain securities. This alleged activity took place before my joining the Department of Defense.

This allegation against me is entirely without merit. I intend to vigorously defend this matter in the courts with every confidence that I will ultimately be exonerated. Participation in and preparation of this case will require a substantial amount of my time and attention. I will not and cannot perform my duties as Deputy Secretary of Defense unless I can do so to the fullest of my abilities and without distraction. Accordingly, with the deepest regret, I hereby submit to you my resignation as Deputy Secretary of Defense to be effective on 12 January 1984.

I wish to express my gratitude to you and Secretary Weinberger for giving me the opportunity to share in the important work of the Department of Defense. I leave with every confidence that the progress which this Administration has made will continue under your leadership and that of Secretary Weinberger, with the dedicated assistance of the men and women of the Department of Defense.

Respectfully,

Paul Thayer

[The President, The White House, Washington, D.C. 20301]