England, the second highest ranking Pentagon official, said he feels it "most appropriate" for President-elect Barack Obama to name his own team, The Hill reported.
On Monday, Obama announced Defense Secretary Robert Gates would stay on in his administration.
"I congratulate President-elect Obama for retaining Bob Gates as secretary, and I salute Bob Gates for his continued commitment," England said. "However, it's time for me to leave. When I came into government in early 2001, I anticipated serving for two to four years. After almost eight years, it's now time for me to turn over the reins to a successor."