Anthony Principi '67, Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Biography
1967-68: Served on Joseph P. Kennedy based in Newport, RI, in the engineering department.1968-69: Volunteered for Vietnam service, River Patrol Force. (18 months)
1969, April: Sent to Valejo, CA, Mare Island shipyard for a special operationóto plant electronic sensors along the Cambodian border. Served as officer-in-charge of the unit. (1 year)
1970: After Vietnam service was assigned to Officer Candidate School in Newport, RI, as a company officer and instructor.
Met his wife, Elizabeth, at the officersí club in Newport. She was just reporting to duty there as a Navy nurse. They were married that same year.
Decided to attend law school instead of destroyer school.
1972: Started law school at Seton Hall in New Jersey in a Navy program allowing him to work on active duty during holidays and vacations from Seton Hall law school. Elizabeth was transferred to St. Albanís Naval Hospital. After admission to the bar, entered the JAG Corps and his first assignment was as chief veteransí lawyer at the Naval Legal Service Office in San Diego.
1974: Elizabeth entered law school. She also became a Navy JAG. (After 20 years of service she retired from the Navy.)
1979: Reassigned to the Washington, D.C., office of legal affairs, SecNav, Senate Armed Services Committee.
Elizabeth was admitted to a Navy postgraduate program for legal medicine. She earned a masterís and law degrees in legal medicine at Georgetown University and completed a fellowship in legal medicine and forensic pathology at the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology in Bethesda.
1980: Left active duty after 14 years of service to serve as Republican counsel to the Senate Armed Services Committee at the invitation of Sen. John Powers of Texas. Powers took the chairmanship of the committee with the Republican take-over in the Senate.
Became Republican chief counsel for the Armed Services Committee and later for the Veteransí Affairs Committee as well.
1988: The Principis moved back to California to pursue opportunities in the private sector. He practiced law in San Diego.
1988: Was asked to serve as Deputy Secretary of the Veteransí Administration under former President George Bush. In the last year of the Bush Administration, Principi served as acting secretary.
1993: Moved back to Capitol Hill as Republican chief council to Sen. Strom Thurmond in his transition from chairman of the Judiciary Committee and ranking member of the Armed Services Committee to chairman of the Armed Services Committee. Principiís family remained in California.
1993: Principi returned to San Diego and worked in the private sector for several years. Served as chairman of a congressional commission examining benefits for service members and veterans until this appointment.
2001: Appointed to Secretary of Veteransí Affairs in the Bush Administration.
Two of Principiís sons graduated from the Air Force Academy, and one from the University of California at Berkeley.
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