Rumored Names For Deputy Secretary Of Defense & Secretaries Of The Navy & Air Force

Rumored Names For Deputy Secretary Of Defense & Secretaries Of The Navy & Air Force

     Defense News has an article on their website this morning, December 18, 2016, speculating on who may serve as Secretary of Defense Mattis’s (assuming he is confirmed) deputy, as well as candidates for the Service Secretaries. The name most often mentioned for the Deputy Secretary of Defense position is Michael Wynne, who served as the Secretary of the Air Force from 2005-2008, before being forced out by the Secretary of Defense Gates.  “Ostensibly, the firing was because of a series of mishaps with the nuclear mission; but, defenders of Wynne have indicated that SecDef Gates was looking for an excuse to fire the Air Force leadership,” Defense News said.  They add that Wynne would bring organizational knowledge to Mattis’s team.”  Mr. Wynne reportedly has not yet been contacted by the Trump Transition Team.

     “If Trump and Mattis look to someone with business credentials; but, no Pentagon experience, one name that was floated is David McCormick, president of the [Wall Street] hedge fund, Bridgewater Associates,” Defense news noted.  Bloomberg News reported in its Friday edition that Mr, McCormick is the front runner for the Deputy spot.

     Defense News says another name being mentioned by some; but, still considered a long shot, is Lockheed Martin’s Senior Vice President for Washington Operations and a former Special Assistant to SecDef Gates — Robert Rangel.  Mr, Rangel also served as a Staff Director on the House Armed Services Committee.

     There is some speculation that current Deputy Secretary of Defense Bob Work could be asked to stay on, at least in the short term, Defense News said, at least until the current Continuing Resolution ends next April.

     With respect to the Under Secretary of Defense positions, “no names seem to have any traction for the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics, (USD (AT&l), — the Pentagon’s top weapons buyer — Defense News said. This position is also a bit complicated, since Congress decided to split that office into two new offices in 2018.

     Defense News said one name being mentioned for Secretary of the Navy is Representative Randy Forbes (Rep. VA).

    Meanwhile, Barbara Barrett, former U.S. Ambassador to Finland under George Bush, and someone who has had a longstanding interest in aerospace issues is the name most mentioned to be Air Force Secretary.  Ms. Barrett also sits on the boards of the Rand Corporation, among others.v  “Another rumored name,” for Secretary of the Air Force, according to Defense News, is Republican Congressman Jim Bridenstine, who represents Oklahoma’s 1st District; and, he serves on both the House Armed Services Committee, and the Science, Space, and Technology Committee, and, “has cared out a niche by focusing heavily on space policy during his four years in office.” Finally, Allan McArtorm Chairman and CEO of the Airbus Group, and a 1964 graduate of the USAF Academy, combat pilot in Vietnam, and a former member of the Thunderbirds, is also a name that has surfaced in the search for Air Force Secretary, Defense News said.

     Defense News did not mention any candidates for the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence, the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, nor the Secretary of the Army.

     But, one would expect to begin to hear names for all of those key defense positions — perhaps as early as this week; and, certainly by New Year’s day — unless of course Gen. Mattis unexpectedly withdraws from the confirmation process to be POTUS-Elect Trump’s Secretary of Defense.  V/R, RCP


  1. It will be great to once again have men and women who respect and support our military as leaders of each branch instead of politically correct sexual preference and sex determining the positions.

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