An aerial view of the Pentagon building in Washington, June 15, 2005. U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld defended the Guantanamo prison against critics who want it closed by saying U.S. taxpayers have a big financial stake in it and no other facility could replace it at a Pentagon briefing on Tuesday. (Reuters/Jason Reed JIR/CN)

With Adm. Bill Moran's abdication three weeks before he was due to become chief of naval operations, the Pentagon has yet another vacancy to fill with precious few days left before Congress goes on summer break.

As of Monday, a total of 20 top positions across the U.S. military are vacant, including defense secretary, Air Force secretary, and inspector general, said Heather Babb, a Pentagon spokeswoman.

Two officials have been confirmed by the Senate but have yet to assume their official duties: Christopher Scolese as director of the National Reconnaissance Office and Veronica Daigle as Assistant Defense Secretary for readiness, Babb said.

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Vice Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Bill Moran arrives to preside over a ceremony establishing Expeditionary Exploitation Unit ONE, EXU-1, as a stand-alone command onboard Naval Support Facility Indian Head, June 29, 2018. (Photo By: Todd Frantom)

The Navy is in chaos now that the admiral who had been confirmed to lead the service has abruptly announced his retirement for maintaining "a professional relationship" with a former public affairs officer who was investigated for sexually harassing women at a 2016 Christmas party.

Adm. Bill Moran issued a statement saying his decision to decline his appointment as chief of naval operations comes amid, "An open investigation into the nature of some of my personal email correspondence over the past couple of years and for continuing to maintain a professional relationship with a former staff officer, now retired, who had while in uniform been investigated and held accountable over allegations of inappropriate behavior."

Task & Purpose independently verified that the officer in question is retired Cmdr. Chris Servello, who was belatedly removed as the spokesman for CNO Adm. John Richardson, following the Christmas party, at which he allegedly made unwanted sexual advances toward three female sailors while he was dressed as Santa Claus. The episode has become known as the "Bad Santa" incident.

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