Ashton Carter, Deputy Defense Secretary under Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, announced on Thursday his plans for stepping down from his position in December. He has been in top Pentagon positions for four years, according to Reuters.
Carter was best known for his "unwavering, untiring and overwhelming" commitment to making sure that U.S. troops had the equipment to do their jobs, said Brett Lambert, head of Industrial Policy at the Pentagon.
Many times, that lead to sending unusual equipment and supplies to troops on foreign ground to improve conditions and safety. Bomb-sniffing dogs and landmine-proof Hummers that were especially designed to climb over the mountainous terrain in Afghanistan, for example.
Carter's replacement has not been announced, but late Thursday, some names began to surface as possible Deputies. Navy Secretary Ray Mabus, former Air Force Secretary Michael Donley and the Pentagon's former policy chief, Michele Flournoy, are all among those named so far, as well as Linda Hudson, chief executive of BAE Systems Inc.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is sorry to see him go, and said he "reluctantly accepted" Carter's decision to leave the post. "He 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," Hagel said in a statement.
Carter was apparently waiting for some of the dust to clear from the present mess in Washington, but ran out of time. "I have decided that this situation might well continue and I don't want any more time to pass before giving you the opportunity to begin a smooth transition," Carter said in his resignation letter to Hagel.
Carter said he has planned for a long time to step down on December 4 of this year, but delayed his announcement because of the cloudiness of the financial situation at the Defense Department, which has been affected by the partial government shutdown that started on October 1.
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