Defense Department Staff Changes, Reorganization of OSD Office Announced

Last week Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced several high-level staff changes at the Pentagon, as well as a reorganization of the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD).

Longtime department employee and Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter retired from the department, with Christine Fox, recently the department’s Director of Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation, returning to government and being appointed Acting Deputy Secretary, effective December 5.

At his retirement ceremony, Carter was presented with the Defense Department Award for Distinguished Public Service with a gold palm and the Joint Distinguished Civilian Service Award, the highest civilian awards given by the defense secretary and the department, respectively.

“I recommended Christine to President Obama because I felt we needed the continuity to continue with some of the most defining challenges that we had been facing and will continue to face in this department over a number of years, and you know what those are. It's budget sequestration, we're finishing up QDR Review, and how all that impacts strategic interests and focus and where we go from here,” Secretary Hagel stated of Fox.

On December 4, Secretary Hagel announced reforms to the OSD designed to save $1 billion over five years by cutting 200 positions from his office.

“Much of these savings will be achieved through contractor reductions, although there will be reductions in civilian personnel,” Secretary Hagel said.

The OSD realignment plan includes restructuring of the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy and that office’s assistant secretaries, consolidates the number of Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense positions, strengthens the Deputy Chief Management Officer (DCMO) position by placing the Office of the Director of Administration and Management under the DCMO, to name a few.

An overview of the OSD changes is provided in Secretary Hagel’s statement announcing the reforms.

Secretary Hagel stated, “Bureaucracies are often derided, but the reality is that an organization of DOD's size, complexity, and global reach will always require sophisticated headquarter structures that provide effective oversight and management of our half-a-trillion- dollar enterprise. The men and women who work at the Pentagon and other headquarters elements, whether civilian, military or contractors, are dedicated individuals who deserve respect and appreciation. Even as we realign our headquarters organizations, we will focus new energy on retaining the world-class professionals who we depend on every day to fulfill our mission and keep this country safe. My expectation is that the changes we make will empower our people by reducing layers of bureaucracy and making our organization more adaptable, accountable, and agile.”

Posted in General News

Tags: sequestration, Ashton Carter, Deputy Chief Management Officer, Office of Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, Christine Fox, Secretary Hagel

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