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Wilson to Retire as DOD Public Affairs Chief

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 23, 2012 – The Pentagon’s top public affairs official will retire at the end of March.

“At the end of the year, I really thought it was time to get off the merry-go-round for a break,” said Douglas B. Wilson, assistant secretary of defense for public affairs. “You reach a point where you have to say you need to get a break. I need to recharge and look forward again to serving the country in another way.

“I’m very proud of what this administration has accomplished in national security,” he continued. “I take great pride in the office, and … we have a great team of people.”

Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta called Wilson a “valued member” of his senior leadership team who “has provided extremely wise counsel on a full range of public affairs issues confronting the department.”

“He has been a trusted advisor,” the secretary added.

Panetta said he will miss the “insights, energy and commitment [Wilson] consistently demonstrates to our men and women in uniform.”

Wilson has served in his position for two years. During the Clinton administration, he served as deputy assistant secretary of defense, and he was principal deputy assistant secretary of defense for public affairs from 1991 to 2001.

Pentagon Press Secretary George Little said he will miss Wilson and thanked him for his support. “He has exhibited a great deal of patience with me,” he said.

The administration will announce a nominee for Wilson’s successor soon, officials said. The Senate must confirm the nomination.


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Leon E. Panetta
Douglas B. Wilson
George Little


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