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December 29, 2005

England relinquishes Navy post

Among the party games being played at the Pentagon this festive season is musical chairs. The Department of Defense announced today that Secretary of the Navy and Acting Deputy Secretary of Defense Gordon England has relinquished his Navy secretary post , but will continue to serve as Acting Deputy Secretary of Defense.

England has served as Acting Deputy Secretary since May 2005, after being nominated to the deputy secretary post by President Bush.

Two senators have been blocking England's  confirmation as Deputy Secretary and that has created a log jam in the DoD hierarchy. It is expected that Bush will break the log jam by soon making England Deputy Secretary in a recess appointment.

England has served a total of 48 months as the leader of the Navy Department over two terms separated by his service as the first Deputy Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. For the past eight months he has served in both the Navy post and as Acting Deputy Secretary of Defense.

Under Secretary of the Navy Dionel M. Aviles will serve briefly as acting secretary of the Navy, effective today.  Donald Winter, who was confirmed by the Senate last month, will be sworn in as the 74th Secretary of the Navy on Jan. 3, 2006.