WASHINGTON (Army News Service, June 26, 2009) -- The new Army civilian chief, who will oversee all civilian and military personnel interests for the active and Reserve force, was welcomed to the Army at a Pentagon swearing-in by host Secretary of the Army Pete Geren today.

Thomas R. Lamont, a retired Illinois National Guard colonel with more than 26 years service in the Judge Advocate General Corps was administered the oath of office by Geren to serve as the assistant secretary of the Army for Manpower and Reserve Affairs.

Lamont will serve as the Army's lead for civilian and military manpower policy, human resources, the review of Soldier records, Reserve and active component force-structure policy, the equal employment opportunity program and other matters affecting personnel.

Nominated by President Barack Obama, Lamont said at his Senate Armed Services Committee confirmation hearing May 12, that he will make family support a priority and was open to doing "whatever we can to support our families." He also told the committee one way to sustain the Army family was to provide a good education to the approximately 700,000 Army children.

Prior to the oath, Geren thanked Lamont and his family for their continuing commitment to public service citing the new assistant secretary's long career as a member of the National Guard and as a longtime partner with the same Springfield, Ill., law firm President Abraham Lincoln had been a member of between 1837 and 1841. Geren also thanked Senator Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) for Lamont's endorsement.

Following the oath of office Lamont expressed gratitude to his family for their continued support and praised Geren for "his calm and thoughtful demeanor during this time of national conflict... you have had a very stabilizing effect upon the department," he said.

Throughout his career as an attorney, Lamont has focused on government law and legislative affairs. He served as chair of the University of Illinois board of trustees and as executive director in the office of the state (Ill.) Attorney Appellate Prosecutor and as executive director of the Illinois Board of Higher Education.