- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Rear Adm. John Kirby, who has been the press secretary of the Pentagon for the past year, will step down and be replaced by a civilian in the first personnel move made by Ashton Carter, who started his job as Defense secretary this week.

Mr. Carter would prefer to have a civilian speak to the press on a daily basis, administrative officials told The New York Times, which first broke the news. Adm. Kirby was told he’d be replaced with Mr. Carter’s new pick for the job a few weeks ago.

Adm. Kirby will stay on to help with the transition. His successor has yet to be named.

Adm. Kirby confirmed the move Wednesday during a Pentagon briefing.

Adm. Kirby was chosen by former Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel for the press secretary position in December 2013. Adm. Kirby was formerly the spokesman for Admiral Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. His replacement comes as a surprise to many within the Pentagon as he was having success at his job, administrative officials told The Times.

Adm. Kirby has been essential in bridging the Pentagon and the White House, having become friends with Denis McDonough, the White House chief of staff, after they visited Haiti together following the country’s earthquake in 2010, The Times reported.

It is unknown what Adm. Kirby’s future plans are.

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