Officials at the Defense Department, who come and go, usually enter into their duties with no more ceremony than attends a taxicab wedding in Las Vegas, Nev.—a routine swearing-in, generally in Louis Johnson's Pentagon office dining room, congratulations from several dozen officeholders, kisses from relatives, and bored coverage by a handful of newsmen. But things were different last week when Chief Justice Fred Vinson administered the oath of office to lanky Frank Pace Jr., 37, new Secretary of the Army.

Pace's rise had been swift. A graduate of Princeton and Harvard Law School, he practiced law, joined the Air Forces in...

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