Pentagon names new chief of staff

Eric Chewning, the head of the Pentagon’s industrial policy, has been named the Defense Department’s next chief of staff, according to a Pentagon statement.

Chewning, 41, since Oct. 2017 has been the deputy assistant secretary of defense for industrial policy, meant to help maintain the defense industry in support of national defense. He will now be the chief of staff to acting secretary Patrick ShanahanPatrick Michael ShanahanWhite House: ISIS territory in Syria has been 100 percent eliminated Overnight Defense: Top Marine warns border deployment could hurt readiness | McSally aims for sexual assault reforms in defense bill | House to vote on measure opposing transgender ban | New warning over F-35 sale to Turkey On The Money: Trump rolls dice on uncertain economy | 737 crisis tests Boeing's clout in Washington | Watchdog group pushes 2020 candidates for 10 years of tax returns MORE, who took over the building on Jan. 1.

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“Mr. Chewning brings an array of military and industry experience to the role,” the Pentagon’s acting chief spokesperson Charles Summers said in the release.

According to the statement, Chewning was an investment banker at Morgan Stanley before leaving to enlist in the Army following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and was later commissioned as an Army intelligence officer.

He then returned to the private sector for a decade, and was a partner at McKinsey immediately before joining DOD.

The Pentagon’s former chief of staff, Rear Adm. Kevin Sweeney, resigned on Saturday, saying in a brief statement that he planned to return to the private sector.

Sweeney gave no reason for his exit, which comes just days after Secretary of Defense James MattisJames Norman MattisOvernight Defense: Pentagon chief under investigation over Boeing ties | Trump uses visual aids to tout progress against ISIS | Pentagon, Amnesty International spar over civilian drone deaths Pentagon watchdog probing whether acting chief boosted Boeing Overnight Defense: Judge says Trump can't implement transgender policy | Trump floats admitting Brazil to NATO | Mattis returning to Stanford MORE’s Dec. 31 departure from the agency. 

Mattis announced his resignation earlier in December following President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate GOP budget ignores Trump, cuts defense Trump says he'll nominate Stephen Moore to Fed White House: ISIS territory in Syria has been 100 percent eliminated MORE’s surprise announcement that the administration would withdraw U.S. troops from Syria. 

Another top Mattis ally, Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White, also left after she announced her resignation at the end of December.