Pentagon's top technology officials resign

The Pentagon’s top technology official and his deputy are resigning next month, a Defense Department official confirmed on Tuesday.

Mike Griffin, the Pentagon's first undersecretary of research and engineering, and his deputy, Lisa Porter, will leave July 10, the official said.

The resignations were first reported by Inside Defense.

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Griffin, who took on the role in early 2018, and Porter said in a letter to staff that “a private-sector opportunity has presented itself to us, offering an opportunity we have decided to pursue together,” Defense News reported.

“It has been a pleasure leading this great team over the past few years. We greatly appreciate your hard work, diligence, integrity, and devotion to technical excellence and technical truth in furtherance of the R&E mission,” the two wrote, according to the outlet. “We wish you all the very best.”

Defense Secretary Mark EsperMark EsperOvernight Defense: Trump reportedly considering replacing Esper after election | FBI, Air Force investigating after helicopter shot at in Virginia | Watchdog says UK envoy made inappropriate comments on religion, race, sex Trump eyes replacing Esper after election: reports Overnight Defense: Esper confirms plans to drop below 5,000 troops in Afghanistan | State Department says it's cleared of wrongdoing in emergency arms sales before investigation's release MORE on Wednesday confirmed the resignations and praised Griffin and Porter's work.

"During their tenures, Dr. Griffin and Dr. Porter advanced critical work on the department’s modernization priorities," Esper said in a statement. "They leave an office with a legacy of excellence in the research and development of technology that ensures American military advantage on land, at sea, in the air and in space. Mike and Lisa have my sincere thanks for their dedicated service to the department and the nation, and I wish them the very best as they enter this new chapter of their lives.”

The two are the third and fourth officials to announce their resignation in the last week.

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Kathryn Wheelbarger, the acting assistant Defense secretary for international security affairs, submitted her resignation on June 17five days after President TrumpDonald John TrumpNew Bob Woodward book will include details of 25 personal letters between Trump and Kim Jong Un On The Money: Pelosi, Mnuchin talk but make no progress on ending stalemate | Trump grabs 'third rail' of politics with payroll tax pause | Trump uses racist tropes to pitch fair housing repeal to 'suburban housewife' Biden commemorates anniversary of Charlottesville 'Unite the Right' rally: 'We are in a battle for the soul of our nation' MORE pulled her name as the intended nominee to be deputy undersecretary of Defense for intelligence. 

And Elaine McCusker, the Pentagon's acting comptroller who questioned the Trump administration for its withholding of aid to Ukraine last year, submitted her resignation a day earlier after the White House in early March pulled her nomination for the official comptroller role.

--This report was updated on June 24 at 4:07 p.m.