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Pentagon’s Ashton Carter to Step Down in December

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Deputy Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter briefs the press at the Pentagon in Arlington, Va., on Sept. 25, 2013. DoD Photo

Deputy Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter briefs the press at the Pentagon in Arlington, Va., on Sept. 25, 2013. DoD Photo

Deputy Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter will step down from his position in December, according to a Thursday afternoon release from the Pentagon.

“Earlier today, I met with Ash Carter and reluctantly accepted his decision to step down as Deputy Secretary of Defense on Dec. 4, after more than four and a half years of continuous service to the Department of Defense,” said Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel in a statement sent to Pentagon reporters.

Before his time as the deputy secretary, carter served as the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics — the Pentagon’s chief weapons buyer.

Beginning in 2009, Carter served under Hagel’s predecessors, Leon Panetta and Bob Gates.

While at the Pentagon, Carter most recently oversaw the Strategic Choices and Management Review which the Department of Defense briefed to Congress in August — the Pentagon’s options under sequestration budget cuts.

The study put, “the Department in a far stronger position to manage through unprecedented budget uncertainty,” Hagel said.

He also led a DoD effort to reduce costs of several weapons programs including a drastic cost reduction in the price the Navy’s planned Ohio-class Replacement Program ballistic nuclear missile submarine.

The Pentagon did not give a reason for Carter’s departure as of this posting.

“The Department will miss him, Hagel said in a statement. “I will miss him.”