Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis sent US women's hockey goaltender Maddie Rooney a handwritten note of congratulations for her gold medal Olympic win, from "one Secretary of Defense to another." Former Defense Secretary James Mattis irked Trump by convincing him not to withdraw troops from Afghanistan in 2017, and ultimately resigned over Trump's announcement that U.S. forces in Syria would depart in late 2018. His background in the Army Special Forces dovetails with a reputation for being hard-charging and not always respectful of bureaucratic vetting procedures that are intended to ensure that potential consequences are fully considered before acting. (Michael Reynolds-Pool/Getty Images) After Esper was replaced by Miller, the following changes were also made at the Defense Department: James Anderson, acting under secretary of defense for policy, was replaced by Anthony Tata, who Trump previously sought for the position. Mr. Miller seemed an unlikely emissary for such a delicate diplomatic foray. Enlarge Image. It was the first indication of what direction the Pentagon may take in Trump's final weeks in office, the uncertainty of which has raised concerns among career defense officials and the incoming Biden administration about what the changes mean — whether he is rewarding loyalists or trying to force through policies the department has resisted over the last four years. President Trump appointed longtime national security official Christopher C. Miller as acting defense secretary on Monday following his surprise firing via tweet of Mark Esper.. Miller, 55, takes over Esper’s role after serving as director of the National Counterterrorism Center since last August. The U.S. Secretary of Defense oversees the Department of Defense and acts as the principal defense policy maker and adviser. Incoming acting defense secretary has no prior military experience, is liked by the president and is a longtime Boeing exec, … This article is written by Tara Copp and Michael Wilner from Special to McClatchy Washington Bureau and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the Industry Dive publisher network. 'Our new Secretary of Defense is a very good boy -- unlike those loser ones I've appointed in the past. The Qataris were said to have expressed interest in some of the ideas but were cautious about how to proceed. Mr. Miller has displayed an irreverent demeanor that at times clashes with the grave policy matters he has handled, according to people who have worked with him. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. By Lara Seligman Mr. Pompeo insisted that the State Department take over the initiative from Mr. Miller. President-elect Joe Biden formally announced retired four-star Army Gen. Lloyd Austin as his pick to be the 28th secretary of Defense. The nomination of Esper, who was this week elevated to acting Pentagon chief from his post as Army Secretary, was announced hours after Trump The extraordinary power and responsibility he will wield during the uncertain endgame of the Trump administration — when Mr. Trump is refusing to acknowledge that he lost the election — immediately cast tremendous attention on the largely unknown new Pentagon leader. Head to the redesigned Defense.gov where you can learn all about the Defense Department. The civilian noted above is the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low-Intensity Conflict (ASD (SO/LIC)). The most recent defense secretary to go was Mark Esper, who was fired by Trump on Monday after pushing back on issues including troop withdrawals and … (Michael Reynolds-Pool/Getty Images) The Prime Minister has appointed Stephen Lovegrove as the new Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Defence. "I thank Pat for his outstanding service and will be naming Secretary of the Army, Mark Esper, to be the new Acting Secretary of Defense," wrote Trump on Twitter. Now He’s the New Pentagon Chief. Chris Miller, 55, who became acting defense secretary on Monday, is a former Green Beret who served with 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne). One is to deploy troops, two he can bring troops home," Punaro said. Explore trending topics, experience DOD through interactive pieces, engage by testing your wit with quizzes and observe DOD in action via photos and videos. Mr. Miller frequently worked with Mr. Patel, a former aide to Representative Devin Nunes of California, the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee and an outspoken supporter of Mr. Trump. McMaster. abruptly installed Mr. Miller as acting defense secretary, refusing to acknowledge that he lost the election, assault on an American air base at Manda Bay, Kenya, eased limits on military strikes in Somalia. "It's helpful to decapitate the senior civilian leadership at the Pentagon in preparation of some aggressive use of the military to bolster the president's claims that he has won this election," said one former defense official who has stayed close to the Pentagon's current uniformed senior leadership. It could also portend the kind of last-ditch initiatives or operations, whether overt or covert, that Mr. Trump and his top aides might pursue during his last weeks in office. "That is probably the most worrisome, most extreme reason they could be making these decisions," the official said. A White House spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment on the changes. Miller, 55, takes over Esper’s role after serving as director of the National Counterterrorism Center since last August. “Reducing the threat to U.S. interests by eliminating 10 Shabab operatives doesn’t hold up. Army Secretary Mark Esper could be confirmed as the new defense secretary early as Thursday. Trump announced the move Sunday in a tweet. President Trump’s new acting secretary of defense began a since-aborted diplomatic gambit last month to negotiate with a Somali terrorist group — drawing the ire of the secretary of state. The firings and resignations come amid Trump's refusal to acknowledge his electoral defeat and authorize the federal government to begin preparing for a transition of power to President-elect Joe Biden. Kernan, a retired Navy vice admiral, had planned to resign for several months, according to the Pentagon. Withdrawal of U.S. military forces from Afghanistan or Germany, where the U.S. military has thousands of troops based, is much more likely to be the reason for the recent changes, Punaro said. 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