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 ShanahanProtection of critical military benefit shows bipartisanship can work Senators introducing bill to penalize Pentagon for failed audits Overnight Defense: National Guard boosts DC presence ahead of inauguration | Lawmakers demand probes into troops' role in Capitol riot | Financial disclosures released for Biden Pentagon nominee 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 Mattis The US can't go back to business as usual with Pakistan The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Senate nears surprise deal on short-term debt ceiling hike Overnight Defense & National Security — Pentagon chiefs to Congress: Don't default MORE’s Dec. 31 departure from the agency. 

Mattis announced his resignation earlier in December following President TrumpDonald TrumpBaldwin calls Trump criticism following 'Rust' shooting 'surreal' Haley hits the stump in South Carolina Mary Trump files to dismiss Trump's lawsuit over NYT tax story 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.