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U.S. Special Operations structure streamlined, will report to Defense Secretary

U.S. Special Operations structure streamlined, will report to Defense Secretary
Acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller announced the streamlining of the Special Operations Command structure on Wednesday.  Photo courtesy of U.S. Defense Department 

Nov. 18 (UPI) -- The U.S. Special Operations Command is now "on par" with the other military services, the acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller said on Wednesday.

Miller signed a memo authorizing a streamlining of the Army's command structure at Fort Bragg. N.C., by which the official who oversees special operations will report directly to the Secretary of Defense instead of the undersecretary for policy.

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The change, announced Wednesday in remarks before the signing ceremony, removes layers of command and will accelerate a better flow of information to support service members.

"I have directed the Special Operations civilian leadership to report directly to me instead of through current bureaucratic channels," Miller said. "This historic step finalizes what Congress has authorized and directed, and will put Special Operations Command on par with the military services for the first time."

The U.S. Congress mandated an expansion of responsibilities for the assistant secretary of defense in 2016. The change in leadership has been slowed by rapid personnel turnover in the Pentagon, and numerous resignations this month.

The change announced by Miller has been a topic of debate since the creation of the U.S. Special Operation Command, known as USSOCOM or SOCOM, was founded in 1987.

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On Tuesday, Miller announced a reduction of U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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