Christopher C. Miller assumed the position of Acting Secretary of Defense after having served as the Pentagon’s civilian chief of special operations and low intensity conflict. Miller succeeds outgoing Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper, whom President Trump fired Nov. 9.
Miller, of Iowa City, Iowa, is a retired career Army officer. While in uniform, he served with the 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), with other tours as military policeman with the District of Columbia National Guard. He served combat tours during initial operations in Afghanistan in 2001 and again in Iraq two years later. He holds an undergraduate degree in history from The George Washington University, where he earned his commission through the school’s ROTC program. He also holds a postgraduate degree in National Security Studies from the Naval War College, and is a graduate of both the Naval College of Command and the Army War College. He also served on the National Security Council as an advisor to the president on issues relating to counterterrorism and transnational threats from March 2018 through December 2019.