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Carter to step down as deputy defense secretary in December

WASHINGTON, Oct. 11 (UPI) -- U.S. Deputy Defense Secretary Ash Carter, who led the Pentagon's probe into the Navy Yard attack, will leave Dec. 4, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said.

In a statement issued late Thursday, Hagel said he met with Carter "and reluctantly accepted his decision to step down."

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Carter has served in senior Defense Department positions since President Obama took office in 2009, including undersecretary of defense for acquisition technology and logistics under Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates before becoming the department's No. 2 official.

Most recently, Carter ran point for the Pentagon's investigation into the Washington Navy Yard shooting Sept. 16 in which a gunman killed 12 people before being killed by law enforcement authorities.

"He possesses an unparalleled knowledge of every facet of America's defense enterprise, having worked directly and indirectly for 11 secretaries of defense over the course of his storied career," Hagel said.

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