At just before 1 p.m. EST, President Trump announced via Twitter that Christopher C. Miller, the Director of the National Counterterrorism Center, is the new acting Secretary of Defense, effective immediately. Miller replaces Mark Esper, who took control of the Pentagon on July 23, 2019.
In a follow-up tweet, President Trump indicated that Esper “has been terminated.” Prior to his appointment as the Secretary of Defense, Esper served as the Secretary of the Army from 2017 to 2019 and previously served in the U.S. Army, Army Reserve, and Army National Guard. Trump went on to thank Esper for his service.
Christopher C. Miller, the new Acting Defense Secretary, has previously served as the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low Intensity Conflict, in which he oversaw the deployment of Special Operations troops for counter-terrorism, direct action, irregular warfare, and other mission sets that are unique tot he Special Operations community.
Miller is a retired U.S. Army Infantry Officer who first received his commission in 1987, though his military career actually began as an enlisted infantry Soldier in the Army Reserve in 1983. Miller also served for a time as a Military Policeman for the District of Columbia National Guard in the early 1990s. From there, Miller transferred to a command and staff position within the 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne).