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    DOD Welcomes New Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs

    DOD Welcomes New Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs

    Photo By Robbie Hammer | Dr. Lester Martinez-López is sworn in as the new assistant secretary of defense for...... read more read more



    Courtesy Story

    Defense Health Agency

    Dr. Lester Martinez-López took the Oath of Office on Tuesday, March 21, 2023, as the Department of Defense’s new assistant secretary of defense for health affairs. The oath was administered by Undersecretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness Gilbert R. Cisneros.

    “I could not be more pleased to be here today to officially welcome our newly confirmed assistant secretary,” Cisneros said. “His arrival has been a long time coming, and we are so grateful that he stuck with us through the nomination, hearing, and confirmation process. We are fortunate, indeed, to welcome this distinguished public servant to our team.”

    Martinez was joined by his wife, Lydia; their three sons, Lester, Luis and Lucas; daughters-in-law Ragan, Barbara, and Shama; five of their nine grandchildren, and more than 100 friends and supporters. In his speech following the oath, Martinez noted that he believes in the adage that “it takes a village,” which in his case, starts with his family. He also recognized the presence of his long-time mentor, former Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs Dr. Enrique Mendez, and friends and supporters who filled the Hall of Heroes at the Pentagon for the ceremony.

    Martinez answered a question that he said he’s been asked many times: Why, at this point in his life and his career, would he want to take on a job of this magnitude?

    “My answer is simple,” he said. “It is an opportunity, a calling, to continue my life’s work, which has always been about taking care of people. There is no greater duty than to ensure the health of the people who serve our country selflessly and with great sacrifice, and I am truly grateful for this chance to make a difference for them.”

    Nominated by President Joe Biden in 2022, Martinez was confirmed on Feb. 16, 2023. He is a retired U.S. Army major general and a family medicine physician, who served in leadership positions in the private health care sector after concluding his U.S. Army career. He holds a doctorate of medicine degree from the University of Puerto Rico and a master’s degree of public health from Johns Hopkins University.



    Date Taken: 03.22.2023
    Date Posted: 03.23.2023 16:20
    Story ID: 441065
    Location: US

    Web Views: 699
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