Former Secretary of State Colin Powell “set the standard of quiet professionalism and immeasurable sacrifice,” according to the National Guard Bureau chief.
“His ability to work with our partners and allies highlighted the strong relationships he built over a lifetime,” Gen. Daniel Hokanson said in a statement on Twitter. “The National Guard joins our nation in mourning this great American and we extend our condolences to his wife, Alma, his children, extended family and friends.”
Combat in Vietnam. National Security Adviser. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs. Secretary of State. A Soldier & a statesman, GEN Powell set the standard of quiet professionalism & immeasurable sacrifice & service. (1/2) https://t.co/WUQmHPQjRJ
— General Daniel Hokanson (@ChiefNGB) October 18, 2021
Powell, 84, died Monday following complications from contracting COVID-19. He was the first Black secretary of state and an Army veteran whose service began during the Vietnam War. Powell also was a four-star general who chaired the Joint Chiefs of Staff during the 1991 Gulf War. He retired from military service in 1993.
Powell also gained notoriety for his role in justifying the 2003 invasion of Iraq by citing faulty intelligence. However, a 2020 New York Times article details that leading up to his speech in support of the invasion, he was among internal skeptics in the Bush administration.
“But I knew I didn’t have any choice,” Powell told NYT’s Robert Draper. “What choice did I have? He’s the president.”
In a statement released Monday, President George W. Bush spoke of Powell’s public service when offering condolences.
“He was highly respected at home and abroad,” Bush said. “And most important, Colin was a family man and a friend.”
VA Secretary Denis McDonough also released a statement following the announcement of Powell’s death, calling the Vietnam War veteran a trailblazer.
“His commitment to service was a lifetime calling, from watching out for his fellow soldiers long after they left his command to quietly sharing wise counsel on difficult policy challenges,” McDonough said. “We will miss him dearly. My deepest condolences are with Gen. Powell’s family, and with everyone who is mourning his loss today. May God rest his soul.”
Similarly, Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III said on Twitter that Powell will be “impossible” to replace.
It will be impossible to replace Gen. Colin Powell. He was a tremendous personal friend and mentor to me, and there’s a hole in my heart right now as I think about his loss. My thoughts and prayers today are with his family, and I want them to know I will miss him dearly. pic.twitter.com/pX24KQMMBc
— Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III (@SecDef) October 18, 2021
“He was a tremendous personal friend and mentor to me, and there’s a hole in my heart right now as I think about his loss,” Austin said.
Powell is survived by his wife, Alma; three children, Linda Powell, Anne Powell Lyons and Michael Powell; and four grandchildren.Read comments