Deputy defense secretary to step down

After more than two years in the job, Deputy Defense Secretary William Lynn will step down from the second-highest DOD post to spend more time with his family.

Defense Department Deputy Secretary William Lynn has announced his resignation from the No. 2 DOD post, though Lynn will remain in that job until a new deputy secretary is selected to help ease the transition, according to published reports.

The news comes a week after newly installed Defense Secretary Leon Panetta started his job.

“I thought this was a logical point for me to depart the Pentagon,” Lynn told the Associated Press, which first reported his departure. Lynn said that he could not commit to another 18 months in the job, through the end of President Barack Obama’s term, due to “personal, family reasons.”

In an interview with the media outlet, Lynn said that he informed Panetta of his decision on July 1.

Lynn has been in the deputy secretary job since February 2009, and much of his work has focused on cyber defense and defending DOD networks. Lynn told the AP he believes the biggest challenge for the new defense officials will be managing further budget cuts while still maintaining military forces.

“Bill Lynn has provided outstanding advice and counsel to this department and to the nation over the course of his long career,” Panetta said in a statement. “I will rely on his experience and expertise during this transition period. His service will be greatly missed.”

The search for a new deputy has begun and an announcement of the pick might come by the end of the summer, Doug Wilson, chief DOD spokesman, told the AP.

“It has been a rare privilege to serve in the Department of Defense during such a challenging time,” Lynn said in a statement. “And it has been an honor to serve alongside an outstanding group of civilian and military members who every day demonstrate the value to this nation of their unwavering commitment and dedicated service.”

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