What do Defense Secretary Robert Gates and hip-hop artist Nicki Minaj have in common?
More than you might think.
Gates was named the MTV college networkâs first-ever Man of the Year, beating out pop stars and hip-hop powerhouses for the honor, which recognized the secretary as a âtrue role model.â
âCollege students inherently believe that they have the power and ability to change the system,â said Stephen Friedman, general manager of MTV, in a news release. âmtvU is proud to honor Sec. Gates because he stood up for what was right, and made historic changes to the system by focusing on the issues at hand rather than partisan rhetoric.â
Gates was praised for his âbold, reasonedâ choices on military modernization, gender equity and, most important, his support for the repeal of the âdonât ask, donât tellâ law.
And, while the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have consistently rated unpopular with the millennial generation, MTVâs Freidman suggested Gates and âthis generation are completely aligned in their unwavering support of the troops.â
In its release, MTV cited Gatesâ laundry list of awards and accolades.
âSecretary Gates has been awarded the National Security Medal, the Presidential Citizens Medal and has twice received the National Intelligence Distinguished Service Medal,â the release said.
âNow, in 2010, for consistently focusing on solutions for today so theyâre not problems for tomorrow, and for rational and reasoned discussion instead of polarizing sound bites — he can add âmtvU Man of the Yearâ to his list of accomplishments.â
As for Nicki Minaj? The âYour Loveâ hitmaker was named mtvUâs Woman of the Year.