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James Guerts announces retirement from Navy's second-highest rank

By
Zarrin Ahmed
James F. Guerts, the acting undersecretary of the Navy, has announced that he will retire at the end of August. Photo by Alexander C. Kubitza/U.S. Navy
James F. Guerts, the acting undersecretary of the Navy, has announced that he will retire at the end of August. Photo by Alexander C. Kubitza/U.S. Navy

Aug. 5 (UPI) -- James Guerts, who has been acting undersecretary of the U.S. Navy since February, has announced that he will retire at the end of August.

A replacement has not been announced.

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"I have been truly blessed by the great teammates, bosses, mentors, international colleagues and industry partners with whom I have had the good fortune to work within my career as an Air Force officer, [senior executive service] and appointee," Geurts said in a handwritten note Wednesday on LinkedIn.

"While I depart with a heavy heart, I do so with full confidence in all of you."

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Guerts was the 2020 Wash100 Award winner for his leadership in acquiring technology. He oversaw the service's pursuit of unmanned technology, its Naval Expeditions accelerator program and work on the Constellation-class frigate and Ford-class aircraft carrier program.

"It was an extremely difficult decision given my strong belief in our mission and pride in being part of the Department of the Navy team," he wrote. "I am hopeful I was able to make a difference to those I was privileged to lead and serve."

Guerts formerly served in the U.S. Air Force for 22 years, and said in his note that he served a total of 38 years in government since he began in ROTC in 1983. He thanked his family for their unwavering support and to those who mentored him along the way.

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