Jan. 8, 2019: Retired U.S. Navy Rear Adm. Kevin Sweeney has resigned as the Chief of Staff for the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Defense. Sweeney held the position since January, 2017. "After two years in the Pentagon, I've decided the time is right to return to the private sector,” Sweeney said in a statement released by the Defense Department on Saturday, Jan. 5, 2019. “It has been an honor to serve again alongside the men and women of the Department of Defense.” Sweeney is the third official at the Defense Department to resign in less than a month. Former Defense Secretary James Mattis resigned on Monday, Dec. 31, 2018, and Defense Department Spokesman Dana White also resigned on Dec. 31, 2018. Sweeney previously retired as a Navy Rear Admiral in 2014 after a two-year assignment as the Commander of Carrier Strike Group TEN and a nine-month deployment as the Commander of the Harry S. Truman Strike Group. His 32 years of operational experience in the military also included working as the Commander of Destroyer Squadron 26 and as the Commanding Officer of the USS Cole.