Jeff Schogol

Navy Secretary Richard Spencer took the reins at the Pentagon on Monday, becoming the third acting defense secretary since January.

Spencer is expected to temporarily lead the Pentagon while the Senate considers Army Secretary Mark Esper's nomination to succeed James Mattis as defense secretary. The Senate officially received Esper's nomination on Monday.

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The Pentagon's Office of the Inspector General on Thursday cleared former Boeing executive and current acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan of allegations that he unethically favored Boeing in an official capacity as head of the Defense Department — and the only thing he's guilty of is criticizing the F-35 program for being an expensive disaster.

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Nearly two weeks after he submitted his resignation letter, former Defense Secretary James Mattis has officially left the Pentagon. The building already feels like a less lethal place.

The legendary Marine general has been replaced by former Boeing executive Patrick Shanahan, who has a reputation for being able to solve complicated problems. (As the Pentagon's space guy, he is also the defense official whom your friendly Pentagon correspondent once asked if Space Force needed a Starfleet Academy and rifle squads to "seek out and destroy other lifeforms.")

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President Donald Trump said Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is retiring "with distinction" at the end of February 2019, according to a tweet on Thursday.

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Defense Secretary James Mattis reportedly views himself as President Donald Trump's "babysitter," and his efforts to restrain the bombastic leader apparently created tensions with former White House national security adviser H.R. McMaster.

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U.S. Army / Sgt. 1st Class Randall Pike.

While on a flight to Washington last year, Defense Secretary James Mattis was pondering how to make President Donald Trump’s “America First” foreign policy fit with the need for alliances.

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