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DOD's No. 2 stepping down

Ashton Carter

Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter is leaving his post for unexplained reasons.

Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter will step down as of Dec. 4, according to an Oct. 10 release from the Defense Department.

In the release, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel "reluctantly accepted his decision" and praised Carter's loyalty and effectiveness. Carter, 59, gave no reason for his departure.

Prior to becoming deputy defense secretary, Carter served as undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics under former Defense Secretary Robert Gates. In that role he headed up DOD's Better Buying Power acquisition reform plan, among other initiatives.

As deputy secretary Carter took the lead on numerous initiatives, including planning amid budget cuts across the department as well as plans to "pivot" the focus of U.S. military strategy toward Asia.

Hagel called him "a brilliant strategist and excellent manager," and said Carter "possesses an unparalleled knowledge of every facet of America's defense enterprise, having worked directly and indirectly for eleven Secretaries of Defense over the course of his storied career."

"I have continually relied upon Ash to help solve the toughest challenges facing the Department of Defense," Hagel said. "I particularly appreciate his work spearheading the Strategic Choices and Management Review, which put the department in a far stronger position to manage through unprecedented budget uncertainty... but Ash's most recent tour of the department will be especially remembered for his tremendous efforts to provide more agile and effective support for our warfighters and their families."

Posted by Amber Corrin on Oct 10, 2013 at 2:11 PM

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