Pentagon No. 2 to step down after four years in top defense jobs

WASHINGTON Thu Oct 10, 2013 3:36pm EDT

WASHINGTON Oct 10 (Reuters) - Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter has decided to resign effective Dec. 4 after more than four years of service in senior Pentagon jobs, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said in a statement on Thursday.

Carter has served as the Pentagon's number two official under Hagel and his predecessor, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta. He was the Pentagon's chief weapons buyer under Defense Secretary Robert Gates.

"Ash has been extraordinarily loyal and effective as deputy secretary, both for me and Secretary Panetta," Hagel said. "He possesses an unparalleled knowledge of every facet of America's defense enterprise, having worked directly and indirectly for 11 secretaries of defense over the course of his storied career."

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