Pentagon Policy Chief James Miller is leaving the Pentagon in January (Erin A. Kirk-Cuomo / DoD)
WASHINGTON — Pentagon Policy Chief James Miller is leaving the Pentagon in January, meaning the White House must now fill two high-level Defense Department jobs in a matter of months.
Miller informed Pentagon leaders of his decision to step aside Friday morning, a Pentagon spokesman said. It is unclear just when in January Miller will leave his post as the departmentís No. 3 civilian official, the spokesman said.
Millerís coming departure leaves the office of the undersecretary for policy with very few senior leaders. There is no permanent principal deputy and many of the assistant secretary-level posts also are vacant.
The announcement comes just after the Pentagonís No. 2 civilian official, Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter, announced he soon will step down.
Miller took over for Michele Flournoy, but the Policy shop seemed to take on a lesser role after she left the Pentagon. For instance, the office was not in charge of a high-level strategy review that was completed earlier this year.
Some sources have told Defense News that the office could undergo a major restructuring as the department trims its budget in the sequestration era.
-- Marcus Weisgerber and Paul McLeary contributed.