Personnel Change

By Christopher J. Castelli / October 17, 2012 at 6:30 PM

Pentagon Press Secretary George Little today announced a temporary change in the leadership of the Defense Department's personnel and readiness directorate. "This week, Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness Erin C. Conaton informed Secretary Panetta and her staff that she will be going on a temporary leave of absence to address personal health matters," Little said. "Secretary Conaton has been a valued adviser to Secretary Panetta, and he strongly supports her decision to take time to focus on her health. Secretary Panetta, and the entire leadership of the Department of Defense, wishes Secretary Conaton a speedy recovery and looks forward to her returning to the Department soon."

During Conaton's absence, her duties will be filled by Jessica Wright, who Panetta has designated as the acting principal deputy under secretary of defense for personnel and readiness. A retired major general in the Pennsylvania Army National Guard, Wright has been serving as the assistant secretary of defense for Reserve affairs. "In that role, she has been the Secretary's key adviser for all matters involving the Reserve component -- including manning, training, equipping and resourcing the more than 1.2 million men and women serving in the Guard and Reserve," Little said.