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Army Secretary John McHugh stepping down, Pentagon says

By Amy R. Connolly
Army Secretary John McHugh stepping down, Pentagon says
John McHugh, Secretary of the Army, (L) and Lieutenant General R. Steven Whitcomb, Army Inspector General, wait to testify before the House Armed Services Committee regarding mismanagement at Arlington National Cemetery on Capitol Hill in Washington on June 30, 2010. McHugh announced he will retire on Nov. 1, 2015. File Photo by UPI/Roger L. Wollenberg | License Photo

WASHINGTON, June 9 (UPI) -- The U.S. Army's top civilian leader, Secretary John McHugh, will step down in November, adding to the expanding list of senior military personnel leaving the Pentagon in President Obama's final months in office.

McHugh, a former Republican congressman from New York, will resign effective Nov. 1 to "afford ample opportunity for a smooth transition," the Pentagon said in a written statement. He has been the secretary of the Army since 2009.

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"Secretary McHugh has been a tremendous public servant for decades, and he has helped lead the Army through a period of challenge and change," Defense Secretary Ash Carter said. "There will be much time in the coming months to appropriately celebrate his many accomplishments, but for now, I will just say that every soldier is better off because of his hard work and vision, and so is the country."

McHugh's departure comes as Army Chief of Staff Raymond T. Odierno, a former commander of U.S. forces in Iraq, also prepares to retire. Gen. Mark A. Mille, who heads U.S. Army Forces Command, will replace him.

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