By Rep Ike Skelton, Chairman, US House Armed Services Committee

President-elect Obama's decision to retain Robert Gates as Secretary of Defense is superb. Secretary Gates is trustworthy, has a keen sense of duty, and has the qualities of an Eagle Scout, which he is so proud of being. I have great confidence that Secretary Gates will continue to lead our military with distinction and help ensure our national security through these challenging times.

Senator Hillary Clinton will make an excellent Secretary of State. She will hit the ground running and bring additional prestige to the office. Senator Clinton's great experience and relationships with world leaders will allow her to be very effective in advancing America's interests.

General Jim Jones is a long-time friend and a great leader. His good judgment, as well as his first-class diplomatic and management skills, will be of immense help to President Obama and the United States as National Security Adviser.