U.S. deputy defense secretary to quit

08:30, July 08, 2011      

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U.S. Deputy Secretary of the Defense Department William Lynn has announced his intention to step down and return to private life, the Pentagon said Thursday.

Lynn met with Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta late last week to discuss his plans, the Pentagon said in a statement. At Panetta 's request, he has agreed to remain until a successor is in place this fall.

"Bill Lynn has provided outstanding advice and counsel to this department and to the nation over the course of his long career," said Panetta. "I will rely on his experience and expertise during this transition period."

Lynn, 57, has been the Pentagon's No. 2 official since February 2009. During his nearly two-decade career of government service, he served as senior national security advisor to the late Senator Edward Kennedy and a senior advisor to five secretaries of defense.

"It has been a rare privilege to serve in the Department of Defense during such a challenging time," said Lynn. "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."

Source: Xinhua
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