There are positions in all government departments where incumbents provide continuity in governance. There is actually a formal idea referred to as “continuity of operations” whereby there are overlapping coverage among leadership, within and between departments such that government continues under various circumstances.
How this happens is more miraculous than by design. Ashton Carter, Deputy Defense Secretary has served as a “numbers” guy for 11 secretaries of defense. Managing the cash flow and resource flow for the department of defense is on the critical path in providing for the common defense.
He has served in his present capacity for four years, and it seems a shame to see him depart at this juncture of national need. However, keeping the bureaucracy fresh is also a healthy measure.
Ashton Carter (they call him Ash) will likely go out the revolving door and will reappear somewhere in K Street and as an expert pundit down the road after a legally required hiatus.
This man deserves accolades for his service as did prior persons such as Jacques Gansler who made a big difference. Who is next up at bat?
“Pentagon's No. 2 official stepping down
By Carlo Muñoz - 10/10/13 03:47 PM ET
Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter will step down as the Pentagon's No. 2 official in December, according to the Pentagon.
Carter informed Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel that he has decided to leave the department on Dec. 6, the Defense Department chief said on Thursday.
"I will always be grateful that Ash was willing to stay on and serve as my deputy secretary," Hagel said.
"He possesses an unparalleled knowledge of every facet of America's defense enterprise, having worked directly and indirectly for eleven Secretaries of Defense over the course of his storied career," Hagel added.