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White Announces Plans to Step Down

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, May 2, 1997 – Deputy Defense Secretary John P. White announced he will step down as the No. 2 official in the department this summer.

White, who has served as deputy since June 1995, said it was time to move on to new challenges.

"Last December, you asked me to stay on as deputy secretary to assist with your transition into office and to manage the Quadrennial Defense Review, and I agreed to do so," White said in a letter to Defense Secretary William S. Cohen explaining his decision. "We are now at the end of a very successful transition, and the QDR process will conclude shortly with a series of major decisions, setting the stage for the next several years of defense policy."

In a letter to White, Cohen accepted the resignation with regret and appreciation. "Your strong leadership and guidance has made it possible for both the transition and the QDR to be accomplished in a decisive and thoughtful manner," Cohen said. White's service to DoD, U.S. troops and the nation is "noteworthy and laudable," he said.

Prior to serving as deputy, White was chairman of the congressionally mandated Commission on the Roles and Missions of the Armed Forces. The panel independently reviewed roles and missions of the armed forces and reported to Congress, the secretary of defense and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Before that, he was director of the Center for Business and Government at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government.

White served as deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget and as assistant secretary of defense for manpower, reserve affairs and logistics during the Carter administration. He is a former Marine officer.

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