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 ShanahanThe Hill's Morning Report - White House, Congress: Urgency of now around budget Tensions swirl around Iran as administration to brief Congress Overnight Defense: Iran tensions swirl as officials prepare to brief Congress | Trump threatens war would be 'end of Iran' | Graham tells Trump to 'stand firm' | Budget talks begin 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 MattisPentagon reporters left in dark as Iran tensions escalate Trump officials slow-walk president's order to cut off Central American aid: report Overnight Defense — Presented by Huntington Ingalls Industries — Trump nominates Shanahan as Pentagon chief | House panel advances bill to block military funds for border wall | Trump defends Bolton despite differences MORE’s Dec. 31 departure from the agency. 

Mattis announced his resignation earlier in December following President TrumpDonald John TrumpThe Hill's Morning Report - White House, Congress: Urgency of now around budget GOP presses Trump to make a deal on spending Democrats wary of handing Trump a win on infrastructure 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.