The Department of Defense (DoD) announced yesterday that Deputy Secretary of Defense Bill Lynn will leave his job to return to private life.  In a press release from the Pentagon, Secretary Panetta said “Bill Lynn has provided outstanding service over the course of his long career.”

Bill Lynn was confirmed as the 30th Deputy Secretary of Defense in 2009.  In the job of Deputy Secretary, Lynn led DoD’s budget process, was instrumental in the creation of a new cyber strategy, and helped to develop a new operational energy strategy.

Lynn began his career in defense strategy and resource issues in 1982 when he became the executive director of the Defense Organization project for the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). He later moved to the professional staff of the Institute for Defense Analyses (IDA) and then was a senior fellow at the National Defense University.  Before entering government service, Lynn served as a senior aid on defense and arms control issues for the late Sen. Edward Kennedy from 1987 to 1993.

Lynn arrived at the Pentagon in 1993 to serve as an assistant to the Secretary for Budget and later that year was appointed to be the Director of Program Analysis and Evaluation in the Office of the Secretary of Defense.  In 1997, Lynn was confirmed as Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller) in 1997 and served in that position until 2001.  He left public service and became executive vice president for DFI international and then senior vice-president for Government Operations Strategy for Raytheon Company.

Secretary Panetta acknowledged Lynn’s decision to stay through the current difficult budget review saying he “will rely on his experience and expertise during the transition period.  His service will be greatly missed.”

With Lynn’s departure, the entire DoD senior civilian and military staff will change by the fall of this year.  Leon Panetta has replaced Bob Gates as Secretary and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff ADM Mike Mullen will retire in September.  Gen. James “Hoss” Cartwright. Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff will step down next month.  President Obama has nominated ADM James “Sandy Winnefeld, Jr, to replace Cartwright.   No announcement of Lynn’s successor has been made by the White House.