Leon Panetta Is the Defense Secretary Now

ARLINGTON, VA - JULY 01: U.S. Marine Sgt. John Kang (R) put the name plate of Defense Secretary Leon Panetta on the door of his office as Navy Yeoman-Petty Officer 1st Class Rodrigo Hope looks on July 1, 2011 at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia. Panetta has been sworn in as the 23rd Secretary of Defense of the United States on the first day of his new job, succeeding Robert Gates. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images) Photo: Alex Wong/2011 Getty Images

Yesterday, Robert Gates, who had served as the secretary of Defense since 2006, was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Obama, the country's highest civilian honor. Today, Leon Panetta, the new secretary of Defense, was bestowed with a shiny new door plaque, the country's 97th-highest civilian honor.