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Peter Pace and Ed Giambastiani go corporate

By Gary Jacobson

January 23, 2008 at 9:41am

Gen. Peter Pace, a former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and his one-time vice chair, Adm. Ed Giambastiani Jr., have accepted corporate posts just a few months after retiring from the military.

SM&A, a consulting firm that advises defense firms and other companies, said Friday that it hired Pace as president and CEO of a subsidiary, SM&A Strategic Advisors. The 40-year Marine Corps veteran, who retired in October, also joins SM&A’s board of directors.

Four days earlier, SRA International, another consulting firm, said that it had added Giambastiani to its board.

Pace was chairman of the joint chiefs from 2005 to 2007 and vice chair from 2001 to 2005. He is the first Marine to hold either of the two top officer positions in the U.S. military. Giambastiani was vice chair from 2005 to 2007.

They become the latest military brass to make the jump from the war room to the boardroom.

Richard Myers, an Air Force general who preceded Pace as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, earns a total of roughly $800,000 a year in cash and other compensation as a director on four corporate boards: Aon, Deere & Co., United Technologies and Northrop Grumman.

As Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Myers oversaw the invasion, and subsequent occupation, of Iraq.

Larry Ellis, another SRA International board member, is a former general in the U.S. Army.

Compensation for Pace and Giambastiani was not revealed. In 2006, according to SEC filings, base salaries for the top six SM&A officers ranged from $195,000 to $500,000. In fiscal 2007, SRA International board members earned up to $174,000.

Military pay is increasing, but doesn’t match the private sector. Last April, the base salaries of Pace and Giambastiani went from $15,959 a month to $17,972, which totals about $215,000 a year.

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