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 ShanahanTrump announces new missile defense plan, chastises allies on spending Pentagon missile defense doctrine to explore space-base tech Overnight Defense: Four Americans killed in Syria suicide attack | State of the Union becomes latest shutdown flashpoint | Missile defense review on track for Thursday release 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 MattisMacron: US 'retreat from Syria' won't change mission to eradicate ISIS Poll: Most Americans want US troops in Syria Fox's Griffin: Was told by diplomat that Syria attack was 'direct result' of US pullout decision MORE’s Dec. 31 departure from the agency. 

Mattis announced his resignation earlier in December following President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump knocks BuzzFeed over Cohen report, points to Russia dossier DNC says it was targeted by Russian hackers after fall midterms BuzzFeed stands by Cohen report: Mueller should 'make clear what he's disputing' 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.