Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan will stand in as acting secretary when Jim Mattis departs in January, and he will become another of President Donald Trump’s appointments who brings no experience to the position.
CNN reported Monday that Shanahan, who spend three decades at Boeing before joining the Trump administration, has no military or foreign policy background of which to speak.
Shanahan will lead the Pentagon on an interim basis until President Donald Trump names a nominee to be his new defense secretary. Shanahan will be charged with carrying out the President's orders of withdrawing US troops from Syria, and possibly Afghanistan.
A former corporate executive, Shanahan's portfolio at the Department of Defense has been narrow with no experience in international affairs or with counterterrorism.
During his time at the Pentagon, Shanahan has focused on internal reform, budget issues and details related to Trump’s new military branch: the Space Force.
A senior administration official told reporters on Sunday that Shanahan had been essentially "running the building" while Mattis focused on policy and outreach to military and allies.
"There is probably nobody who knows the inner workings of the Pentagon more than Pat," the official said.