President Clinton on Wednesday nominated the Navy’s No. 2 officer to head U.S. Pacific Command, replacing an admiral who was forced to take early retirement because of his remarks about the rape of an Okinawan girl.
Clinton nominated Adm. Joseph W. Prueher, who has been the vice chief of naval operations at the Pentagon since May 1995 and is a highly decorated naval aviator. He flew A-6 Intruder combat missions in Vietnam.
He would replace Adm. Richard C. Macke, who was forced by Defense Secretary William Perry to take early retirement after Macke told reporters on Nov. 17 that the U.S. servicemen accused of raping a 12-year-old Okinawan girl last September should have sought out a prostitute instead. The remark was seen as trivializing one of the most damaging incidents in U.S.-Japan relations in years.