Pentagon Press Secretary George Little to Leave DoD in November

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel talks with George Little before hosting a press briefing aboard the E-4B on his way to Malaysia. (DoD photo by Sgt. Aaron Hostutler)

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel talks with George Little before hosting a press briefing aboard the E-4B aircraft on his way to Malaysia. (DoD photo by Sgt. Aaron Hostutler)

Pentagon Press Secretary George Little will leave the DoD next month after more than two years behind the podium .

In an e-mail sent to the Pentagon Press Corps this morning, Little said he wants “return to private life and the private sector.”

Little served four years as the CIA spokesman and came to DoD when Leon Panetta became defense secretary in 2011.

“I simply need to turn more of my focus to weekend soccer games, helping with school homework, and building Lego sets that demand a higher level of engineering expertise than I currently possess,” he said.

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Here is a copy of the letter he sent to the Pentagon Press Corps this morning:

Media Colleagues,

It’s the privilege of a lifetime to serve as Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs and Pentagon Press Secretary. I’m routinely impressed by the commitment and teamwork of the thousands of DoD public affairs professionals who serve around the world and across the many public affairs disciplines. I take pride in the incredibly positive impact of their work on our troops, military families, DoD civilians, and our nation. That work is mission-central, and is key to sharing the powerful stories of the inspiring men and women who serve in the world’s finest military.

I have reached the difficult decision, after long consultation with my wonderful wife and two young sons, to step away from the podium and return to private life and the private sector. After over two years as Pentagon Press Secretary and over four years as CIA spokesman, I simply need to turn more of my focus to weekend soccer games, helping with school homework, and building Lego sets that demand a higher level of engineering expertise than I currently possess.

Secretary Hagel graciously accepted this decision after I discussed it with him last month.

My last day will be Friday, November 15. One of my immediate goals is to have a Blackberry-free Thanksgiving dinner for the first time in several years.

I will leave having done my best to serve two indispensable national security organizations led by three outstanding public servants: Secretary Chuck Hagel, Secretary Leon Panetta, and CIA Director Mike Hayden. I am also profoundly grateful to President Obama for the opportunity to serve in his administration.

The search for my successor is underway, and I am confident that whoever comes next will help define a strong course for our leaders and the DoD public affairs community.

To my media colleagues, I’m immensely grateful for the opportunity to work with some of the finest reporters in the world. The Pentagon press corps is professional, dedicated, and thoughtful. I’ve traveled hundreds of thousands of miles with you, held what is probably a record number of on-the-road emergency gaggles, and enjoyed the occasional sparring in the Pentagon Briefing Room. That’s as it should be.

As a University of Virginia alumnus, I’m almost obliged to quote Jefferson. I do so to convey my genuine sentiments about the role of the press in our society:

“The only security of all is in a free press. The force of public opinion cannot be resisted when permitted freely to be expressed. The agitation it produces must be submitted to. It is necessary, to keep the waters pure.”

To all of you, I look forward to your future accomplishments after I depart the five walls of this wonderful–and this essential–American institution.

With great respect and gratitude,

George Little

Marcus Weisgerber
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Marcus Weisgerber

Senior Pentagon Correspondent at Defense News
I write about broad-ranging policy, acquisition and budget issues affecting the US military.
Marcus Weisgerber
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