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                     Office of the Press Secretary
                      (Seoul, Republic of Korea)
For Immediate Release                                  November 21, 1998
                            AS CO-CHAIR OF THE 

The President today announced that he will designate Major General Roland Lajoie, U.S. Army (Retired), as the Co-Chair of the U.S.-Russian Joint Commission on POW/MIAs. This will be effective December 1, 1998.

Major General Roland Lajoie, of West Wilton, New Hampshire, is currently a special consultant to the Deputy Secretary of Defense. Until February 1998, he served as the Deputy Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR). In this position he was also the Program Manager for CTR and responsible for the implementation of the Nunn-Lugar initiative mandated by Congress in 1991 to assist the Former Soviet Union in the destruction of weapons of mass destruction and other related nonproliferation efforts. Previously he was the Associate Deputy Director for Operations/Military Affairs at the Central Intelligence Agency. During his 35-year military career, General Lajoie has held a wide variety of important national security positions including: Deputy Director for International Negotiations, J-5, Joint Chiefs of Staff; first Director, U.S. On-Site Inspection Agency; Defense Attache, Paris, France; and Army Attache to the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. General Lajoie has a long military career of various commands and staff assignments including two tours in the Republic of Vietnam.

General Lajoie is the three time recipient of the Defense Distinguished Service Medal. He is also the recipient of several other awards and distinctions including: the Defense Superior Service Medal (with Oak Leaf Cluster), the Distinguished Intelligence Medal, the National Intelligence Distinguished Service Medal, and the Legion of Merit.

General Lajoie's military education includes completion of the United States Army Command and General Staff College and the United States Army War College. He holds a B.A. in Political Science from the University of New Hampshire, an M.A. in History from the University of Colorado, and was a Research Fellow at Harvard University's Russian Research Center.

The U.S.-Russian Joint Commission (USRJC) on POW/MIAs was established in March 1992 by Presidents Bush and Yeltsin as a bilateral mechanism for determining the fate of both countries' military personnel taken prisoner of war and missing in action. The primary goal of the United States is to find information in the former Soviet Union about American service members unaccounted for as a result of military conflicts beginning with World War II and to report that information to the American people. The Commission meets in plenary session at a minimum once a year.